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American Scene

- - Wednesday, March 16, 2011

CALIFORNIA

5 dead in plane crash at airport

LONG BEACH | A plane crash at Long Beach airport killed five people and injured a sixth on Wednesday, authorities said.

Airport director Mario Rodriguez said the six people were aboard the Beechcraft King Air craft. Five people were pronounced dead at the scene, and one man was rushed to a hospital with critical injuries, he said.

The plane crashed and burned during takeoff about 10:30 a.m., Long Beach fire spokesman Steve Yamamoto said.

Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was departing for Salt Lake City when it went down.

The front half of the plane and its wings came to rest on a grass median between two runaways. The plane left a scorched trail dozens of feet long as it apparently plowed through the grass.

DELAWARE

University wrongly lauds for admission

NEWARK | The University of Delaware is apologizing to dozens of applicants who were congratulated mistakenly for winning admission to the university.

A Web link to register for an event for admitted students was incorrectly made available on Friday to all applicants, whether they'd been accepted to the school or not. The link was viewed by 61 students who had been wait-listed or denied admission.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Poverty temporary for most people

Most Americans who fall into poverty do not stay there very long, a new Census Bureau report says.

During the 36-month period between 2004 and 2006, 29 percent of the nation's population lived in poverty for at least two months, the bureau said. But relatively few — 3 percent — stayed poor during the entire three years.

In addition, 12 million people, or 42 percent of those who were poor in the 2004 calendar year, were not in poverty by 2006.

The median length of a poverty spell was 4.5 months, the bureau found.

However, many people still struggled financially: More than half the people who left poverty still lived with incomes just above the poverty line, the bureau said in "Dynamics of Economic Well-being: Poverty, 2004-2006."

FLORIDA

NASA's humanoid robot unpacked

CAPE CANAVERAL | The first humanoid robot ever launched into space is finally free.

Astronauts at the International Space Station unpacked Robonaut on Tuesday, 2½ weeks after its arrival via the shuttle Discovery. NASA broadcast the humorous unveiling ceremony on Wednesday.

American Catherine Coleman and Italian Paolo Nespoli pried off the lid of the robot's packing box as though they were opening a coffin. TV cameras showed lots of foam inside, but no robot.

"It's like unearthing a mummy," radioed a payload controller at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

"Well, at least the mummy would be here," Miss Coleman replied. "We just have an empty box where Robonaut is supposed to be."

Robonaut — also known as R2 was spotted a minute later in front of a work station.

"I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of our crew," Miss Coleman said. "We're going to see what Robonaut can do."

INDIANA

Top donor indicted, faces SEC charges

INDIANAPOLIS | A former Indianapolis businessman and top Republican donor was indicted Wednesday on charges stemming from an investigation into whether he operated a Ponzi scheme to defraud investors of hundreds of millions of dollars.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said Timothy Durham was arrested at his home in West Hollywood, Calif., without incident Wednesday morning. He was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon.

The Indianapolis Star reported that Mr. Durham; his business partner, James F. Cochran; and their accountant, Rick D. Snow, were each indicted on 12 felony counts, including wire fraud and securities fraud. Prosecutors have claimed that their Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance Co. promised investors it would use their money for low-risk, high-yield consumer debt but instead used it to repay earlier investors.

ILLINOIS

Former commander begins prison term

CHICAGO | A former Chicago police commander convicted of lying about the torture of homicide suspects has reported to federal prison in North Carolina.

Jon Burge, commander of the infamous Midnight Crew in the 1970s and 1980s, was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in January after being convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice. His attorney, Richard Beuke, says Burge reported to the prison Wednesday.

Meanwhile, an Illinois state commission created to examine torture allegations has not yet begun investigating.

NEW YORK

AP, company settle dispute

NEW YORK | The Associated Press and a clothing maker distributing merchandise based on artist Shepard Fairey's work have settled copyright claims stemming from the use of an AP photograph to create the artist's Barack Obama "HOPE" image.

The deal between the AP and Obey Clothing was announced jointly on Wednesday, a week before a Manhattan federal trial was to begin. Claims between the news agency and Fairey were settled in January.

The settlement calls for the AP and Obey Clothing to collaborate on the future sale of apparel using Mr. Fairey's graphics based on AP photographs. Neither side surrendered its view of the law. Additional financial terms were not disclosed.

OHIO

Ochocinco ordered to pay $12,000

CINCINNATI | An Ohio judge says Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco dropped the ball when it came to paying clothes bills.

Hamilton County Municipal Judge Bernie Bouchard ordered Mr. Ochocinco to pay Exclusive Wear $11,717 for clothing for which the Cincinnati store says it never received payment.

The store, which is owned by AMM One Inc., says that on shopping trips in late 2008 and early 2009, the player took items including a $575 Al Wissam bomber coat, $400 Mauri alligator shoes and $350 Laguna Beach Jean Co. jeans but never paid for them.

Attorney Joseph Honerlaw said Wednesday the store repeatedly reminded Mr. Ochocinco that he needed to pay up before it filed legal action in December. Judge Bouchard ordered the default judgment Tuesday after Mr. Ochocinco didn't appear in court.

A message was left for his agent.

PENNSYLVANIA

Suit filed against archdiocese heads

PHILADELPHIA | A third man has filed a civil lawsuit that says officials from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia covered up sexual assault allegations against a priest who molested him in the late 1960s.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the city's Court of Common Pleas, says the man was assaulted as a boy by a priest from St. Francis Xavier parish and school in Philadelphia.

The plaintiff says archdiocese officials put him in harm's way when they concealed their knowledge of the Rev. John Kline's previous offenses.

It is the third such lawsuit since last month's grand jury report led to criminal charges against three priests and a high-ranking archdiocesan official charged with failing to protect children from predator priests.

From wire dispatches and staff reports