You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

American Scene

- - Monday, April 11, 2011

CALIFORNIA

Court says Harvard twins are stuck with Facebook deal

SAN FRANCISCO | A federal appeals court ruled Monday that former Harvard University schoolmates of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg can't undo their settlement over creation of the social networking site.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday that Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss were savvy enough to understand the agreement when they signed it in 2008. The deal called for a $20 million cash payment and a partial ownership of Facebook. A third classmate, Divya Narendra, was part of the settlement with the twins but did not pursue the second lawsuit seeking to undo the agreement.

The ruling upholds a lower-court decision enforcing the settlement during the six years of litigation that grew so contentious that the dispute was dramatized in the Oscar-nominated film "The Social Network."

The settlement is now worth more than $160 million because of Facebook's increased valuation.

GEORGIA

State considers switching execution drug

ATLANTA | Georgia corrections officials are laying the groundwork to swap out a key sedative used for lethal injections after federal regulators took the state's stockpile of the drug that is in short supply nationwide.

More than 1,000 pages of documents obtained by the Associated Press show Georgia prison officials traveled to two states where a different drug is being used for executions.

State prison officials have prepared lengthy legal files on that drug, called pentobarbital. Several states are using it instead of the scarce sodium thiopental.

The Drug Enforcement Administration took Georgia's supply of sodium thiopental in March over questions of whether the state circumvented the law to obtain its supply.

Oklahoma, Texas and Ohio have switched to pentobarbital. Arizona and Mississippi are planning a switch.

MAINE

Couple to rebuild after plane hits home

BIDDEFORD | A couple whose home was destroyed when a plane crashed into it plans to rebuild on the same site.

Kim Myers said she and her husband, Steve, like the location in Biddeford. It's less than a mile from an airport, and they always enjoyed watching planes fly overhead.

On Sunday night, a twin-engine Cessna clipped a tree and crashed into their roof. Mrs. Myers said the plane came right into the living room, where they would have been watching TV if they hadn't been invited out to dinner.

The ensuing fire destroyed the house.

The National Transportation Safety Board said the pilot reported no problems to air traffic controllers before the crash.

The pilot is presumed dead. A body was taken to the state medical examiner for identification.

NEVADA

Woman dies after backroom cosmetic surgery

LAS VEGAS | A woman died after botched buttocks enhancement surgery in the backroom of a tile business by two Colombian nationals who were later arrested trying to board a plane back to that country, authorities said Monday.

Elena Caro, 42, of Las Vegas was pronounced dead Saturday at North Vista Hospital in North Las Vegas, the Clark County coroner's office said. Her cause of death was not determined, pending toxicology tests and an investigation.

Ruben Dario Matallana-Galvas, 55, and Carmen Olfidia Torres-Sanchez, 47, were arrested for investigation of murder late Saturday at McCarran International Airport, police said.

Mrs. Caro's daughter, 17-year-old Janet Villalovos, told the Associated Press that she asked Mr. Matallana-Galvas to take care of her mother when she dropped her off for the procedure.

She said her mother had facial Botox injections a week earlier by the same people.

Police identified Mr. Matallana-Galvas as a doctor. However, the state had no information on file on him or Ms. Torres-Sanchez, said Douglas C. Cooper, executive director of the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners.

NEW YORK

More bones found in 2 spots on beach

WANTAGH | Police have found what they suspect are human remains in two locations near a New York beach, bringing to 10 the number of potential victims of a suspected serial killer.

Lt. Kevin Smith said a human skull was found among vegetation about 90 feet from Ocean Parkway on Long Island on Monday afternoon. Police found another set of remains earlier in the day.

Both sets of remains were sent to the Nassau County medical examiner for further analysis.

NORTH CAROLINA

Flower girl, 6, dies in crash on way to wedding

RALEIGH | A 6-year-old flower girl was killed and two bridesmaids injured when their car was hit head-on by another vehicle as they drove to a wedding.

Kindergartner Ava Kendall was killed Saturday when the other vehicle crossed the center line. The car's driver and front-seat passenger, both bridesmaids, remained hospitalized Monday.

The wedding was for Ava's baby sitter, who ran to the scene from the venue in Greenville.

The driver of the other vehicle, Mupin Wu Cummings, 39, of Pinetops, was in serious condition two days after the accident. Highway Patrol Trooper David Swanson said prosecutors are considering pressing charges in the case.

NORTH DAKOTA

Flood attention turns to rural north

FARGO | Floodwaters near two small towns "under siege" north of Fargo started to recede, but more than 60 miles of roads remained closed and emergency crews were prepared to respond to calls for evacuations, officials said Monday.

The north-flowing Red River crested in Fargo over the weekend at 38.75 feet, the fourth-highest flood on record. Fargo officials said the levees were holding in the city and offered to help with unprecedented flooding in Cass County directly north of Fargo. The largely rural territory is dotted with small towns, many with just a few hundred residents.

"The area from Harwood to Argusville is under siege, more than it probably has been in history," North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said Monday.

Air boats were on standby Monday, but no evacuations were reported. Authorities said there were two separate rescue operations Sunday near Argusville. Five people and a dog were rescued from one residence, and the second rescue was of a man who became stuck in his tractor when a flooded road gave out beneath him.

TEXAS

Comptroller mistakenly posts public records

SAN ANTONIO | The personal information of about 3.5 million Texans, including addresses and Social Security numbers, was mistakenly posted on public servers controlled by the state comptroller's office and remained there for nearly a year or more before officials discovered the problem, the agency said Monday.

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said that in some cases, the data inadvertently released included birth dates and driver's license numbers. There was no indication that any personal data had been misused.

The information affected was in data transferred by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, the Texas Workforce Commission, and the Employees Retirement System of Texas.

From wire dispatches and staff reports