- - Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Federal charges filed in massive wildfire

PHOENIX | Federal charges have been filed against two cousins accused of accidentally causing the largest forest fire in Arizona’s history by leaving a campfire unattended.

The U.S. attorney’s office on Wednesday announced the charges against Caleb Joshua Malboeuf, 26, of Benson and David Wayne Malboeuf, 24, of Tucson.

The U.S. Forest Service said its investigators determined the men were camping in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest when the fire began there May 29. The agency said the two were out hiking when their campfire spread outside its fire ring in high winds.

The men each face five counts, including leaving a fire unattended and failing to maintain control of a fire that damaged a National Forest System.


Jury rules against penis amputation patient

SHELBYVILLE | A jury on Wednesday ruled against a Kentucky truck driver who sued his urologist claiming the doctor amputated part of his penis without his consent.

The six-man, six-woman jury deliberated briefly before coming back with the verdict in the lawsuit filed by Phillip Seaton, 64, and his wife, Deborah, in Shelby County Circuit Court.

The jury ruled unanimously against the claim that Dr. John Patterson of Frankfort failed to exercise proper care. It ruled 10-2 against the claim that Mr. Seaton hadn’t consented to the amputation.

Jurors were told that Mr. Seaton had gone to Dr. Patterson seeking a circumcision in 2007, but the doctor decided to amputate part of the organ after he found potentially deadly cancer during surgery.


Court bars sale of medical marijuana

DETROIT | Medical marijuana cannot be sold through private shops, the Michigan appeals court said Wednesday in a major decision that strikes at businesses trying to cash in on pot and cuts off a source for people with chronic ailments.

A three-judge panel said the 2008 medical marijuana law, as well as the state’s public health code, does not allow people to sell pot to each other, even if they’re among the 99,500 who have state-issued marijuana cards.

The court said Compassionate Apothecary in Mount Pleasant, Mich., can be immediately shut down as a “public nuisance.” The 3-0 decision means local authorities can pursue similar businesses, estimated at 200 to 300, in their communities.


‘Jewish Indiana Jones’ charged in Torah fraud

NEW YORK | A Jewish charity co-founder who claimed he crisscrossed the globe rescuing Torahs as a “Jewish Indiana Jones” surrendered Wednesday to face mail and wire fraud charges after authorities said he duped benefactors by fabricating dramatic stories about sometimes dangerous trips, including to concentration camp sites in Poland and Germany.

Menachem Youlus, 50, who owns the Jewish Bookstore in Wheaton, Md., was charged in a criminal complaint unsealed in federal court in Manhattan and was released Wednesday on $100,000 bail.

His attorney, Paul Rooney, said, “We deny this accusation, and anything else we have to say will be said in court.”

Court papers said Mr. Youlus carried out the fraud from at least 2004 through last year, pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars through the “Save a Torah” charity he co-founded in 2004 as a nonprofit organization. It said he passed off Torahs he bought from U.S. dealers to synagogues and congregations nationwide, sometimes at inflated rates.


Panel: Ex-Enterprise captain can stay in Navy

NORFOLK | A Navy panel says the former commander of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier who produced raunchy videos aboard the ship can remain in the service.

The board of inquiry issued its recommendation Wednesday. It had been looking at whether to dismiss Capt. Owen P. Honors from the Navy.

Capt. Honors was relieved of command in January after media reports about the videos surfaced. The videos included simulated same-sex shower scenes, anti-gay slurs and references to prostitution in foreign ports.

Capt. Honors says the videos were made to improve morale while teaching important shipboard lessons. He helped produce and appeared in the videos that aired on the ship between 2005 and 2007, when he was the ship’s executive officer.