- - Sunday, March 13, 2011

ALABAMA

1965 killing of minister probed

MONTGOMERY | The FBI’s Cold Case Initiative is investigating the 46-year-old case of a Massachusetts minister who was beaten to death in Alabama while doing civil rights work, a spokesman said Friday.

The Rev. James Reeb, a Unitarian Universalist minister from Boston, was among a group of ministers who traveled to Alabama in response to the Rev. Martin Luther King’s invitation to join the Selma-to-Montgomery march.

The FBI launched an initiative in 2007 to investigate unsolved murders from the civil rights era. A spokesman with the agency, Chris Allen, said Reeb’s case is one that is currently open.

Reeb and two other white ministers had just finished dinner at a historically black restaurant in downtown Selma when they were attacked by a gang of whites on March 9, 1965. The city was a center for voting rights demonstrations by blacks and white supporters at the time.

Reeb, 38, died two days later, leaving behind a wife and four children. Three white men — Elmer Cook, William Stanley Hoggle and Namon O’Neal “Duck” Hoggle — were tried on state murder charges and acquitted by an all-white jury.

CALIFORNIA

Jewish ritual disturbs plane

LOS ANGELES | Pilots on an Alaska Airlines flight locked down the cockpit and alerted authorities after three passengers conducted an elaborate orthodox Jewish prayer ritual during their Los Angeles-bound flight.

Airline spokeswoman Bobbie Egan says the crew of Flight 241 from Mexico City became alarmed Sunday after the men began the ritual, which involves tying leather straps and small wooden boxes to the body.

FBI and customs agents, along with police and fire crews, met the plane at the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.

Airport police say two or three men were escorted off the plane, questioned by the FBI, and released. No arrests were made.

GEORGIA

Ex-judge in stripper, drug case sentenced

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