- - Tuesday, March 29, 2011

COLORADO

Rare tortoise gone from zoo

COLORADO SPRINGS | A rare tortoise has disappeared from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, and authorities think he may have been stolen.

Zookeepers said they last saw 13-year-old Butti on Monday afternoon in the Loft, a hands-on exhibit where visitors can handle Butti and his brother, Tutti.

Officials say someone might have walked off with the Indian Star tortoise — he’s the size of a grapefruit and weighs about a pound.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reported Tuesday that zookeepers are most concerned about Butti’s health because he requires a special diet of certain vegetables.

Indian Star tortoises typically live 10 to 15 years.

Butti has a history of upper-respiratory infections. Without his caretakers, he might develop gastrointestinal problems, osteoporosis or kidney failure.

NEW YORK

Imam now unsure on ‘ground zero’ mosque

A Muslim couple who had a role in founding a controversial Islamic community center and mosque near the World Trade Center before being booted from the organization in January now say the site may not be suited for the project.

Activist Daisy Khan said Tuesday that she and her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, have spent months talking with relatives of 9/11 victims, first responders and others about alternative concepts for the center, including the possibility that it could become a multifaith center focusing on religious conflict.

GEORGIA

U.S. doctor infected Guatemalans for study

ATLANTA | Federal officials have released thousands of pages of records detailing a U.S. medical experiment that deliberately infected Guatemalans with syphilis more than 60 years ago.

The U.S. government apologized to the Guatemalan government last fall for the unethical research. Now, the National Archives has posted online the records of the late Dr. John C. Cutler. He was the U.S. researcher who led the experiment that infected prison inmates and mental patients with syphilis. The purpose was to test whether penicillin, then relatively new, could prevent some sexually transmitted infections.

The papers show that a Guatemalan health official first proposed that U.S. doctors conduct the study.

MICHIGAN

Judge orders tribe to close casino

DETROIT | A federal judge ordered the closure of the Bay Mills Indian Community’s casino in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula on Tuesday while he decides whether it is operating illegally as another tribe claims.

Judge Paul Maloney in Kalamazoo issued a preliminary injunction ordering the casino in Vanderbilt, which opened in November, to close by midday.

The casino is located about 125 miles south of the Bay Mills reservation, which is in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Opponents say it is not legal because it’s not located on Indian land.

A message seeking comment on the decision was left Tuesday at Bay Mills’ tribal offices.

The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, which operates a casino about 30 miles away in Petoskey, filed suit last year to try to force the Vanderbilt casino, which had roughly 40 slot machines to close. The Vanderbilt casino now has 84 slot machines.

The Michigan attorney general’s office filed a brief in support of the Little Traverse Bay Bands’ lawsuit to shut down the casino.

NEW YORK

Population near ground zero doubles

NEW YORK | The destruction wrought on Lower Manhattan by the Sept. 11 attacks hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the city’s fastest-growing neighborhoods.

Census figures released last week show that the number of people living on the blocks around the World Trade Center has swelled by nearly 23,000 since 2000.

About 45,750 people now live there, double the number counted during the last census.

Anyone walking through the area can see the change. The area around Wall Street was once a ghost town after financial district workers left for the day. Now, it is busy around the clock.

Community leaders say the area’s revival as a residential area began before Sept. 11 and hasn’t been slowed by either the attacks or the recent recession.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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