- - Thursday, June 9, 2011

CALIFORNIA

‘Black Muslim Bakery’ founder guilty in editor’s slaying

OAKLAND — A former Oakland community group leader has been found guilty of ordering the murders of a journalist and two other men.

Jurors on Thursday found former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and co-defendant Antoine Mackey guilty of murder in the shooting death of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey, 57, in August 2007.

Prosecutors argued that Bey felt so desperate to protect the legacy of the bakery that promoted self-empowerment for decades that he ordered Mr. Bailey killed as he worked on a story about the organization’s troubled finances.

Bey also was convicted in the July 2007 killings of Odell Roberson Jr., 31, and Michael Wills, 36. Mackey was convicted of killing Wills, but the jury deadlocked on murder charges against him in the death of Roberson.

ILLINOIS

Feds: Prison chaplain passed messages for mobster

CHICAGO — Federal prosecutors contend a former prison chaplain plotted with convicted Chicago mobster Frank Calabrese Sr. to recover a violin reportedly hidden in a Wisconsin house.

Catholic Priest Eugene Klein, 62, of Springfield, Mo., was indicted late Wednesday on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and attempting to prevent seizure of Calabrese’s property. The charges were announced Thursday by the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago.

Calabrese is serving a life sentence for 13 murders at a federal prison in Springfield, Mo., where Father Klein was chaplain. He owes $4.4 million in restitution to victims’ families.

Prosecutors say Father Klein and two others planned to pose as interested buyers of the Williams Bay, Wis., home. One would distract the real estate agent while the others searched for the violin, reportedly worth millions.

MICHIGAN

City cuts power to save old system from crashing

DETROIT — A Detroit spokeswoman says officials intentionally cut power to City Hall and a convention center to prevent the municipal power system from crashing because of demand-related equipment failures.

Sections of downtown Detroit lost power Thursday after high demand from air conditioning during the previous days’ 90-degree heat caused parts of the aging power system to fail.

Officials say one of five transmission lines supplying the system went down Wednesday and two more did so Thursday.

Spokeswoman Karen Dumas says officials decided to cut power to the Coleman Young Municipal Center and Cobo Center so the remaining lines wouldn’t overload. The outages affected about a half-dozen government buildings and prompted Wayne State University to cancel evening classes.

MINNESOTA

Somali immigrant accused of aiding jihad

MINNEAPOLIS — A Somali man who lived in Minnesota until a few months ago has been accused of providing money and people to the terrorist group al-Shabab in Somalia, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.

Ahmed Hussein Mahamud, 26, was arrested Thursday at his home in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, and made his initial appearance in federal court there. The U.S. attorney’s office says he’ll be brought to Minnesota to face four counts, including providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and conspiracy to provide such support.

Also Thursday, authorities confirmed that a Minnesota man was one of the suicide bombers in a May 30 attack in Mogadishu, Somalia. The FBI said it used fingerprints to identify Farah Mohamed Beledi, 27.

Mr. Mahamud is now the 18th person charged in Minnesota in connection with the travels of young men who went to Somalia to join al-Shabab.

NEW YORK

Malcolm X daughter pleads guilty to theft

NEW YORK — A daughter of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X has pleaded guilty to stealing the identity of an elderly family friend to run up more than $55,000 in credit card bills.

Malikah Shabazz was freed from jail Thursday after entering the plea at a courthouse in New York City. She had been in custody since her Feb. 18 arrest in North Carolina.

Her deal with prosecutors calls for her to pay back the money and be on probation for five years.

Queens prosecutors say Shabazz, 46, used the name of a 70-year-old woman whose husband was one of Malcolm X’s bodyguards to acquire credit cards that Shabazz used to run up big debts.

Her lawyer, Russell Rothberg, says Shabazz is excited to be reunited with her teenage daughter.

OKLAHOMA

Clara Luper, civil rights icon, dies

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma civil rights icon Clara Luper, who led sit-ins at drugstore lunch counters in Oklahoma, has died. She was 88.

Mrs. Luper’s daughter, Marilyn Hildreth, said Thursday that her mother died Wednesday night after a lengthy illness.

On Aug. 19, 1958, as the 35-year-old sponsor of the Oklahoma City NAACP Youth Council, Mrs. Luper led three adult chaperones and 14 members of the youth council in a sit-in at the Katz Drug Store lunch counter in downtown Oklahoma City.

The drug store refused to serve the group but the protesters refused to leave, and the sit-in lasted for several days. The store chain eventually agreed to integrate lunch counters at 38 Katz Drug Stores in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas and Iowa.

During the next six years, the local NAACP group held sit-ins that led to the desegregation of virtually all eating establishments in Oklahoma City.

UTAH

Drilling in natural gas field gets feds’ OK

SALT LAKE CITY — The federal government is proposing to allow drilling on a large natural gas project in eastern Utah that officials say will open nearly 3,700 new wells and create thousands of jobs.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said during a conference call with reporters Thursday that Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. will have to control pollution emissions under a draft environmental impact statement being issued Friday.

Public comment will be accepted for 45 days on the proposal.

The project covers about 250 square miles in the Greater Natural Buttes area of Uintah County near the Colorado border.

Officials say the project could yield 6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

The project was proposed in 2006 but has been tied up because of air quality concerns in the Uinta Basin.

WASHINGTON

Court: Workers can be fired over medical pot

OLYMPIA — The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that employers can fire their workers for legally using medical marijuana even if it is used outside the workplace.

The justices said in a 7-1 decision Thursday that nothing in state law protects employees who use medical marijuana.

A woman was fired in 2006 from her job at TeleTech Customer Care Management in Kitsap County after her pre-employment drug screen came back positive. She had told the company she was an authorized medical marijuana patient, but the company’s drug policy did not make an exception for medical marijuana.

The woman, listed in court papers as Jane Roe to protect her identity, sued in 2007.

Justice Tom Chambers wrote in a dissenting opinion that the state Legislature needs to review and improve the law.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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