- - Thursday, November 24, 2011

CALIFORNIA

Cities negotiate to close Occupy encampments

SAN FRANCISCO | Los Angeles and San Francisco are seeking long-term solutions to the entrenched encampments by anti-Wall Street protesters, hoping to end the drain on resources and the frayed nerves of police and politicians.

Officials in both cities have considered providing protesters with indoor space that would allow the movement to carry out its work in more sanitary, less-public facilities.

Occupiers are debating among themselves about whether to hold their ground or to take advantage of possible moves.

Talks in both cities mark a distinctly different approach than tactics used elsewhere that have seen police sent in to dislodge Occupy camps. Violence and arrests plagued camps in Oakland and New York, while the use of batons and pepper spray against peaceful protesters on University of California campuses has led to national outrage and derision.

For example, San Francisco is negotiating with Occupy SF members about moving their encampment from the heart of the financial district to an empty school in the city’s hip Mission district. That would allow the occupiers to have access to toilets and a room for their daily meetings, while camping out in the parking lot of what was once a small high school.

The move also could help them weed out drug addicts and drunks and those not wholly committed to their cause.

TEXAS

Oldest 4-star general in Army dies at 98

FORT SAM HOUSTON | An Army spokesman says a four-star general has died of natural causes in San Antonio at age 98.

Retired Gen. Ralph E. Haines Jr. died Wednesday at San Antonio Military Medical Center, said spokesman Don Manuszewski, adding that Gen. Haines had been the oldest living four-star general.

Gen. Haines was vice chief of staff of the Army in 1967 an 1968. He also served as commanding general of the 1st Armored Division and the III Corps at Fort Hood.

A 1935 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, Gen. Haines served 37 years in the Army.

Gen. Haines was a strong advocate for moving the U.S. Army South’s headquarters from Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, to Fort Sam Houston in 2002. He’s also credited with starting a training program for noncommissioned officers in the 1960s.

WASHINGTON

Security guard fired after nabbing child who ate from box

EVERETT | A TV station says a grocery store security guard has been fired after he told the father of a 4-year-old girl that she would face criminal charges for eating from a dried fruit package.

KOMO reported Wednesday that the child’s mother Alissa Jones said the father wasn’t looking when the girl grabbed the package, ate a few pieces of fruit then returned it to a shelf at a Safeway store in Everett.

Mrs. Jones says a guard took the child and her dad to a room and said the girl would face charges and be banned from the chain.

Mrs. Jones also says the guard had the girl sign a paper acknowledging she wasn’t allowed to enter any Safeway stores.

Safeway spokesperson Cherie Myers says the company was appalled by the guard’s actions and dismissed him. Store officials have apologized to the girl’s parents.

The name of the guard was not available.

UTAH

Sect spokesman guilty of contempt

ST. GEORGE | A southern Utah judge has found the former spokesman for the polygamous sect led by Warren Jeffs guilty of a contempt of court charge for failing to show up for a pair of hearings.

Fifth District Court Judge G. Rand Beacham issued the ruling against William R. Jessop on Wednesday, the Spectrum of St. George reported.

Judge Beacham previously issued a $15,000 warrant for Mr. Jessop’s arrest. Mr. Jessop had paid the fine before Wednesday’s hearing, however, and remains free.

In court, Mr. Jessop told Judge Beacham that he had been in Europe for speaking engagements and was not aware of a September court date. Mr. Jessop also missed a hearing in June. The contempt charge was specifically related to the June hearing.

Judge Beacham set no date for sentencing, nor indicate what punishment might be imposed.

HAWAII

Light display of Santa to use solar power

HONOLULU | A light display of Santa’s workshop and village will be powered by the sun this year.

The nonprofit Blue Planet Foundation is leading the effort to build an 8-foot diorama that will use energy-efficient LED lights.

The Lego Enthusiasts Association of Hawaii and the University of Hawaii Solar Decathlon Team Hawaii are building the display.

It will be powered by a solar panel canopy designed and built by the Kaneohe-based solar design and installation company Sunetric. A battery pack will store energy produced by the panels during the day so the lights turn on at night.

It will be on display through Dec. 31.