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American Scene

- - Sunday, January 30, 2011

ALASKA

'Dr. Phil' show leads to abuse charge

ANCHORAGE | An Alaska woman is charged with child abuse because of a "Dr. Phil" TV show appearance that featured video of her disciplining a 7-year-old son by apparently putting hot sauce in his mouth and forcing him into a cold shower.

The lawyer for Jessica Beagley, 36, said she's pleading not guilty. The municipal prosecutor said Mrs. Beagley's methods were unreasonable.

The Anchorage Daily News reported that neither the child nor five other children in the home have been removed by the Office of Children's Services. Mrs. Beagley's husband, Gary, is a police officer. A spokesman said he is not under investigation.

The case has attracted the attention of Russian media because the boy and his twin brother were adopted from Russia when they were 5 years old.

MICHIGAN

Man, 63, arrested outside mosque

DETROIT | A Southern California man who had explosives in his vehicle was arrested outside one of the nation's largest mosques in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, authorities in Michigan said.

Dearborn police said Roger Stockham, 63, was arraigned last week on one count of allegedly making a false report or threat of terrorism and one count of possessing explosives with an unlawful intent.

Mr. Stockham had a large but undisclosed quantity of class-C fireworks including M-80s, which are outlawed in Michigan, Chief Ronald Haddad said.

"I was comfortable with the fact that we had taken him off the street — he isn't going anywhere," Chief Haddad told the Associated Press on Sunday afternoon. "I think the society he wanted to impact is safe."

Mr. Stockham remained jailed Sunday on a $500,000 bond. A preliminary examination is scheduled for Friday. The Detroit area has one of the largest concentrations of ethnic Arabs in the U.S., with the heaviest centering on Dearborn, about 10 miles west of Detroit.

The chief explained that the arrest last Monday night outside the Islamic Center of America was not immediately publicized — though mosque leaders were told — in order not to encourage copycats.

OKLAHOMA

Official won't resign after pregnancy barb

OKLAHOMA CITY | An Oklahoma school board member says he won't resign over comments he made to a pregnant woman hired to work at the state board of education.

Former state Sen. Herb Rozell told the Associated Press on Friday that he wouldn't step down despite calls for him to do so from other lawmakers.

On Thursday, Mr. Rozell said a newly hired administrator would be "worthless" as a legislative liaison if she took maternity leave. His comments were made shortly after the school board voted to hire the woman to represent the Department of Education's interests at the state Capitol.

Mr. Rozell said he didn't mean to belittle the woman and that he hoped to speak to her soon.

WASHINGTON

Guard killed in prison chapel

MONROE | A guard at a Washington state prison has been found strangled inside the prison's chapel.

Prison spokesman Chad Lewis said 34-year-old Jayme Biendl was found dead Saturday night in the chapel at Monroe Correctional Complex, where she worked.

Mr. Lewis said Sunday that an inmate, who had been missing during a routine count, was found in the chapel lobby and told officers he had planned to escape.

Monroe police are investigating whether that inmate or someone else strangled Mr. Biendl.

Teamsters 117 spokeswoman Tracey Thompson said Mr. Biendl, with the department since 2002, had complained to her union shop steward and prison supervisors about being the sole guard working in the chapel and feeling unsafe.

From wire dispatches and staff reports