- - Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ARKANSAS

Governor: Pardons not likely in Scout killings

LITTLE ROCK — The man with the power to grant pardons in Arkansas says he doesn’t plan to issue them in the “West Memphis Three” case unless evidence shows someone else was to blame for the murders of three Cub Scouts nearly two decades ago.

Gov. Mike Beebe also said Tuesday that he doesn’t consider pardons until all sentences are completed. The three men — Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley — have 10 years of what amounts to unsupervised probation after being released Friday. Mr. Beebe’s term will expire long before then.

The three were convicted in the 1993 murders of three 8-year-olds. Echols was sentenced to death. Baldwin and Misskelley got life in prison. They were freed after an unexpected plea deal that allowed them to maintain their claims of innocence.

CALIFORNIA

2 found dead in national park

PALM SPRINGS — Two people have been found dead after their car apparently became stranded in the Southern California desert, where temperatures have topped 100 degrees.

Authorities say a couple visiting Joshua Tree National Park reported finding a dead man Monday night on the edge of the Black Eagle Mine Road.

A few hours later, Riverside County sheriff’s deputies found the body of a woman about a mile from the man. Their car was found abandoned about five miles away on the same road.

The victims’ identities and causes of death haven’t been released. The park north of Palm Springs was expected to see highs of up to 113 this week.

FLORIDA

Hurricane Irene marks 1st big U.S. threat in years

MIAMI — Officials and residents from Florida to the Carolinas stocked up on supplies, dusted off evacuation plans and readied for the worst as Irene, the first hurricane to threaten the U.S. in three years, churned over tropical waters after cutting a destructive path through the Caribbean.

Federal officials warned the storm could flood streets and knock down power lines as far north as New England.

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