- - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

ARIZONA

Critics call for sheriff to resign, be indicted

PHOENIX — Critics of America’s self-proclaimed toughest sheriff are calling for his resignation and indictment, and for the sheriff’s office to be placed into receivership.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known for crime and immigration sweeps, is under fire over allegations that his agency misspent funds and a recent investigation that revealed evidence of corruption among his top commanders.

A request for comment was not answered by Sheriff Arpaio’s spokespeople.

A federal grand jury reportedly has been looking into allegations of abuse of power by the sheriff, former County Attorney Andrew Thomas and their employees since December 2009.

The U.S. Justice Department also is conducting a civil rights investigation of the sheriff’s office and examining jail policies that discriminate against people with limited English skills.

CALIFORNIA

Coffeehouse nudity, gambling banned by city

GARDEN GROVE — Bare-breasted baristas will have to cover up after police officers discovered nudity and illegal gambling going on at so-called lingerie cafes in a Southern California suburb.

More than three dozen of the coffeehouses are operating in the Orange County city of Garden Grove, and some waitresses have been slipping out of teddies to serve customers in the nude. Additionally, arcade machines have been rigged to be gambling machines.

The Orange County Register reports Wednesday that the City Council has voted 4-0 to ban nudity, gambling and smoking in the sexy cafes.

Police Chief Kevin Raney told the council his officers have raided 20 coffeehouses and confiscated 200 gambling machines. The chief said nude waitresses were also encountered, and the lingerie cafes have attracted gangs.

GEORGIA

Study: Bedbugs with ‘superbug’ germ found

ATLANTA — Hate insects? Afraid of germs? Researchers are reporting an alarming combination: Bedbugs carrying a staph “superbug.”

Canadian scientists detected drug-resistant staph bacteria in bedbugs from three hospital patients from a downtrodden Vancouver neighborhood.

Bedbugs have not been known to spread disease, and there’s no clear evidence that the five bedbugs found on the patients or their belongings had spread the MRSA germ they were carrying or a second less dangerous drug-resistant bacteria.

However, bedbugs can cause itching that can lead to excessive scratching. That can cause breaks in the skin that make people more susceptible to these germs, said Dr. Marc Romney, one of the study’s authors.

The study is small and very preliminary. “But it’s an intriguing finding” that needs to be further researched, said Dr. Romney, medical microbiologist at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Five bedbugs were crushed and analyzed. MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, was found on three bugs. MRSA is resistant to several types of common antibiotics and can become deadly if it gets through the skin and into the bloodstream.

Two bugs had VRE, or vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, a less dangerous form of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Both germs are often seen in hospitals, and experts have been far more worried about nurses and other health care workers spreading the bacteria than insects.

It’s not clear if the bacteria originated with the bedbugs or if the bugs picked it up from already infected people, Dr. Romney said.

The study was released Wednesday by Emerging Infectious Diseases, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NEW YORK

Former manager of Mets clubhouse arrested

NEW YORK — The New York Mets longtime clubhouse manager amassed a secret hoard of baseballs, hats, bats and uniforms, including an autographed 1986 World Series warm-up jersey, that he intended to use to fund his retirement, prosecutors said Wednesday in announcing his arrest on stolen property and fraud charges.

Charlie Samuels, who was with the team 27 seasons, was awaiting arraignment on the charges, which also included tax fraud and falsifying business records. His attorney was in court and not available for comment.

Mr. Samuels, 53, also worked as the team’s equipment manager and traveling secretary and had unique and unfettered access to Mets equipment, authorities said.

Mr. Samuels stockpiled 507 signed and unsigned jerseys, 304 hats, 828 bats, 22 batting helmets and 10 equipment bags, valued together at more than $2.3 million, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Officials recovered the collectibles in a friend’s basement in Madison, Conn.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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