- - Monday, November 7, 2011

HAWAII

Agent charged in killing was in Hawaii for APEC

HONOLULU — A federal agent charged with killing a man inside a McDonald’s restaurant in Waikiki was in Hawaii to help with security at this week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, officials said Monday.

Christopher Deedy, 27, a State Department special agent, is charged with second-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Mr. Deedy, who was released Monday after posting $250,000 bail, is accused of fatally shooting Kollin Elderts, 23, of Kailua during a confrontation early Saturday at a McDonald’s in the famous tourist district.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland confirmed that Mr. Deedy was in Honolulu to beef up security ahead of the APEC conference, which begins Tuesday. The agent has been put on paid administrative leave.

Mr. Deedy was assigned to “support protection of dignitaries” at the meeting, Ms. Nuland said.

President Obama and leaders of 21-member economies from the Asia-Pacific region are scheduled to attend the summit, which the U.S. is hosting for the first time since 1993.

NEVADA

Managers’ actions blamed for mine deaths

RENO — Two Nevadans were killed in a mining accident partly because someone wedged a broom handle against a reset button to bypass an alarm that would have shut down the system, federal safety investigators said.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration said Monday that managers of Barrick Goldstrike’s Meikle Mine are responsible for the August 2010 accident in Carlin that killed Daniel Noel, 47, and Joel Schorr, 38.

The two Spring Creek men were struck by a pipe that gave way in a ventilation shaft because it was clogged with excessive waste rock material.

MSHA said the pipe overfilled because the broom handle kept the loading system from tripping off. The agency blames managers for failing to ensure the safe operation, inspection and maintenance of the mine.

MSHA issued Toronto-based Barrick six safety violations as a result of the accident. MSHA terminated the last of the safety orders stemming from those violations on June 21 after Barrick constructed a new aggregate delivery system that eliminated the hazards, the agency said.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

School fraternity’s charter revoked after drug raid

CONCORD — A University of New Hampshire fraternity where 11 students were arrested during a weekend drug raid had its charter revoked Monday by its national leaders.

Nine Alpha Tau Omega brothers were arrested on drug charges early Sunday at their fraternity house in Durham. Two others were charged with disorderly conduct, and police expect to make more arrests as the investigation continues. Deputy Police Chief Rene Kelley said Monday that the men are accused of selling and possessing marijuana and prescription medication.

The fraternity already had been issued a five-year suspension by the university last month for alcohol violations, and national fraternity leaders had begun the process to revoke the chapter’s charter last week.

NEW JERSEY

Famous waterfall becomes national park

PATERSON — A waterfall in one of New Jersey’s largest cities that inspired generations of newcomers to America, fueled the Industrial Revolution and was featured in a William Carlos William poem and an episode of television show “The Sopranos,” became the nation’s newest national park Monday.

The 77-foot Great Falls in downtown Paterson was given the national park designation in a ceremony attended by New Jersey officials, local schoolchildren, Interior Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar and the head of the National Park Service.

The Great Falls is second only to Niagara Falls in water volume east of the Mississippi River. More than 2 billion gallons of water a day pass over its summit to the swirling Passaic River below.

NEW YORK

Fired mental health worker dangles for hours from bridge

TARRYTOWN — A former government worker dangled for hours from New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge with a protest sign on Monday, backing up traffic for miles before police lowered him safely to the water.

Michael Davitt, 54, of Garnerville, N.Y., was angry about losing his job with the Rockland County mental health department, Sheriff James Kralik said.

On Monday morning, he climbed down a rope ladder and hung for hours about halfway between the Hudson River and the bridge roadway before police got him down. He held a sign accusing county officials of a “cover-up” and “retaliation.”

State police lowered Mr. Davitt nearly to the water at about 2 p.m. He then jumped or fell from a height of about 10 feet and was immediately hauled onboard a boat.

The Tappan Zee bridge is a major crossing north of New York City that connects suburban Westchester and Rockland counties.

OKLAHOMA

Ex-warden’s wife gets prison in inmate escape

OKLAHOMA CITY — The wife of a former Oklahoma prison warden was sentenced Monday to a year in prison for helping a convicted killer escape from the Oklahoma State Reformatory 17 years ago, a prosecutor said.

Bobbi Parker, 49, could have been sentenced to up to 10 years behind bars after a jury found her guilty in September of helping convicted murderer Randolph Dial escape from the Oklahoma State Reformatory in 1994. Jurors recommended a one-year sentence, and that was what she got from Greer County District Judge Richard Darby, Assistant District Attorney David Thomas told the Associated Press by phone from the courthouse in Mangum.

Parker is appealing her conviction, and Judge Darby ordered her to remain in Department of Corrections’ custody pending the outcome of that appeal.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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