- - Monday, November 28, 2011

PENNSYLVANIA

Sandusky charity asks donors to give elsewhere

HARRISBURG — A charity for at-risk children founded by a former Penn State assistant football coach now charged with molesting boys is telling its donors to give their money to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape instead.

The Second Mile made the recommendation Monday in the latest sign that its days may be numbered. But the charity says its December programs will continue as scheduled.

The Second Mile was founded by Jerry Sandusky, who is charged with sexual abuse of eight boys over a 15-year period. Prosecutors say he met victims through the charity. He denies the allegations.

Last week, the charity said it was considering restructuring, transferring programs to other organizations or ceasing operations.

Attorneys for one of the people described in a grand jury report as a victim of repeated sexual attacks by Mr. Sandusky are seeking a court order to prevent the charity from unloading assets.

GEORGIA

More children not getting vaccinations required for school

ATLANTA — More parents are opting out of school shots for their children. In eight states now, more than 1 in 20 public school kindergartners aren’t getting all the vaccines required for attendance, an Associated Press analysis found.

That growing trend among parents seeking vaccine exemptions has health officials worried about outbreaks of diseases that once were all but stamped out.

The AP analysis found more than half of states have seen at least a slight rise in the rate of exemptions in the past five years. States with the highest exemption rates are in the West and Upper Midwest.

It’s “really gotten much worse,” said Mary Selecky, secretary of health for Washington state, where 6 percent of public school parents have opted out.

Rules for exemptions vary by state and can include medical, religious or, in some states, philosophical reasons.

Reasons for skipping some school shots vary. Some parents are skeptical that vaccines are essential. Others fear vaccines carry their own risks. Some find it easier to check a box opting out than the effort to get the shots and required paperwork schools demand. Still others are ambivalent, believing in older vaccines but questioning newer shots against, say, chickenpox.

The number of shots is also giving some parents pause. By the time most children are 6, they will have been stuck with a needle about two dozen times, with many of those shots given in infancy.

WASHINGTON

Banned players settle with gay softball group

SEATTLE — A gay softball organization has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to three players who were disqualified from its 2008 Gay Softball World Series because of their perceived heterosexuality.

And as part of the settlement announced Monday, their team will be awarded the second-place trophy it was denied at the time.

The men — Stephen Apilado, Laron Charles and John Russ — filed the federal lawsuit against the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance last year, claiming they had been discriminated against because they are bisexual, not gay.

They had played for years on a San Francisco-based team called D2. Rumors had persisted that the team was stacked with straight ringers, and when they made it all the way to the finals of the 2008 tournament in the Seattle area, others filed a protest, accusing D2 of exceeding the limit of two heterosexual players per team.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Bar owner charged with raping three girls

PIERRE — Prosecutors have charged a bar owner with raping a 12-year-old and two 14-year-old girls after plying them with drinks last month.

Werner Fajardo, 34, appeared in court Monday on new charges stemming from a weekend check on his Huron bar during which police say they found 11 minors.

He was charged earlier this month with one count of first-degree rape and two counts of third-degree rape in the alleged sexual assault of the three girls early Oct. 30. He has not entered pleas.

The girls said Mr. Fajardo let them into his club after it had closed and served them drinks, and that they became incapacitated, police said.

NEW YORK

Passenger in flight scuffle charged with assault

NEW YORK — A passenger accused of attacking a JetBlue flight attendant who tried to stop him from drinking has been charged with assault by New York City prosecutors.

Antonio Ynoa was charged in a criminal complaint filed Monday.

The complaint says Mr. Ynoa grew belligerent while drinking straight from a bottle on a JetBlue flight en route Sunday from the Dominican Republic to John F. Kennedy International Airport.

It says that when the flight attendant confronted him, Mr. Ynoa hit him three times in the face and tried to head-butt him. An off-duty New York Police Department officer helped subdue Mr. Ynoa before the plane landed.

COLORADO

Plea deal discussed in fugitive siblings case

WALSENBURG — Attorneys discussed a possible plea deal on Monday for two brothers accused in a series of crimes in several states.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported that Ryan Dougherty, 21, and Dylan Stanley-Dougherty, 26, were granted a stay in proceedings until Jan. 30 so that federal and Florida prosecutors can decide what they want to do in the case.

The brothers — and their sister — face five counts each in Colorado of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and other felony charges related to a high-speed chase and what authorities say was a shootout before their capture Aug. 10.

The sister, Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, pleaded not guilty last month. Her trial is set for Feb. 21.

The three also are accused of shooting at a police officer in Florida and robbing a bank in Georgia and are suspects in two car thefts in Utah.

Judge Claude Appel on Monday ordered separate trials for the siblings, each of whom is being held in lieu of $1.25 million bail at the Huerfano County Jail.

RHODE ISLAND

Free infant formula no longer provided by hospitals

PROVIDENCE — New mothers in Rhode Island will no longer leave the hospital with a free goody bag of infant formula.

To encourage breastfeeding, the state’s seven birthing hospitals stopped formula giveaways this fall, apparently making it the first state to end the widespread practice.

State health officials hailed the decision, noting that breastfeeding has been proved healthier than formula for both infants and mothers. Stephanie Chafee, a nurse and the wife of Gov. Lincoln Chafee, called the decision a critical step toward increasing breastfeeding rates.

Formula will still be available to new mothers who experience difficulties with breastfeeding.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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