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American Scene

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CONNECTICUT

Kidnap-case mom surrenders to FBI

HARTFORD | A North Carolina woman who raised a child stolen 23 years ago from a New York hospital surrendered to authorities on a probation violation charge Sunday, and she was to appear in federal court to face kidnapping charges, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Ann Pettway surrendered Sunday morning to the FBI and Bridgeport police on a warrant from North Carolina, where she's on probation because of a conviction for attempted embezzlement, FBI supervisory Special Agent William Reiner said. She turned herself in days after a widely publicized reunion between the child she reared, now an adult, and her biological mother.

Pettway received two years of probation last June after she took items from a store where she worked, which is considered embezzlement under North Carolina law, state correction spokeswoman Pamela Walker said. Under terms of her probation, she wasn't allowed to leave the state.

Department of Correction officials there tried repeatedly to contact her after finding out investigators wanted to question her in the 1987 abduction of Carlina White.

MICHIGAN

State lawyer warned before blog firing

ANN ARBOR | A former assistant state attorney general who was fired after being accused of harassing the gay student assembly president at the University of Michigan was previously warned about using state resources for anti-gay attacks on politicians, according to details of a report published Sunday.

A report compiled by the attorney general's office said Andrew Shirvell was warned last February after sending e-mail to a former state representative and others that included a gay slur, said AnnArbor.com, citing the report that it obtained.

The warning came two months before Mr. Shirvell started a blog that criticized student assembly president, Chris Armstrong, as a racist with a "radical homosexual agenda." The e-mail was listed among the eight reasons for Mr. Shirvell's firing.

A message seeking comment was left Sunday with Mr. Shirvell's attorney, who has said the actions were constitutionally protected as free speech. The Associated Press also left a message on Sunday with the attorney general's office seeking a copy of the report.

MISSOURI

Robbery suspects arrested in snow

KANSAS CITY | Three teens accused of robbing motorists stuck in the snow have been caught after - ironically - they got stuck in the snow themselves.

Prosecutors announced robbery and armed criminal action charges against 18-year-old Darion O. Page of Kansas City, a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old.

The Kansas City Star reported that police found the teens stuck in a snowdrift early Thursday morning. The victims' credit cards were among the items found in their vehicle.

Court documents say the 17-year-old denied participating in the robberies and told police that all he did was drive. The documents say Mr. Page admitted being present, but he blamed the holdups on the 16-year-old.

OHIO

Key execution drug discontinued

COLUMBUS | The only U.S. manufacturer of a key lethal injection drug is discontinuing the drug's production because Italian authorities wanted a guarantee that it wouldn't be used to put inmates to death, a decision that could disrupt executions in states already struggling with a shortage of the drug.

Hospira Inc., of Lake Forest, Ill., said Friday that it decided to switch manufacture of the anesthetic from its North Carolina plant to a Hospira plant in Liscate, outside of Milan. But Italian authorities insisted the company control the product's distribution all the way to the end user to guarantee it wouldn't be used in executions.

After discussions with Italian authorities, with Hospira wholesalers and within the corporation, Hospira decided it couldn't make that promise.

Sodium thiopental is in short supply, and any batches Hospira manufactured were set to expire in March. That means the decision to halt production could in turn disrupt or delay executions across the U.S.

SOUTH CAROLINA

No Facebook activity in prison

CHARLESTON | South Carolina prison officials say they have seized a cell phone from an inmate who was updating his Facebook page from prison.

Corrections officials told the Post and Courier of Charleston that 22-year-old Quincy Howard is in disciplinary detention and can't make collect calls or have visitors after the contraband mobile phone was taken from his cell earlier this month.

Howard is serving a 30-year sentence for manslaughter from Marion County.

The newspaper reports Howard spent most of his time on Facebook last year playing the Mafia Wars and Cafe World games. But he occasionally gave status updates like, in screaming all-capital letters: "railroaded by this crooked judicial system in South Carolina."

Howard's profile picture was a photo of him in his prison jumpsuit.

WASHINGTON

Wal-Mart shootout leaves 2 dead

PORT ORCHARD | Sheriff's officers said a gunman killed a shopper and wounded two deputies at a Wal-Mart here before he was killed by police fire.

Kitsap County sheriff's spokesman Scott Wilson said a man was fatally shot by deputies outside the store in Port Orchard, while a young woman died after being taken to a Tacoma hospital.

Mr. Wilson said officers received a call about a suspicious person at the store. He said deputies tried to talk to the man, who then ran and began shooting. Three deputes, including the two wounded, returned fire.

Mr. Wilson said he didn't know whether the two people who were killed knew each other.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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