County to round up sex offenders on Halloween
PHENIX CITY | A southeast Alabama county is trying to round up all its convicted sex offenders on Halloween night to make sure they can't come in contact with children who are out trick-or-treating.
The Russell County Sheriff's Department is requiring about 35 sex offenders who are on probation or parole to come to the county courthouse in Phenix City on Monday night for a mandatory meeting.
The county's 115 other registered sex offenders are being asked to come to the meeting voluntarily.
An aide to Sheriff Heath Thomas said offenders will get an update on the latest registration requirements.
Medical pot backers sue feds over crackdown
SAN FRANCISCO | Medical marijuana advocates in California sued the federal government Thursday in an effort to halt a recent crackdown on the state's storefront pot dispensaries, claiming government officials have overstepped their constitutional authority by not respecting how local officials have chosen to regulate pot stores and growers.
The lawsuit filed in San Francisco by the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access states that recent raids on licensed dispensaries and letters warning city officials they could be prosecuted for trying to regulate medical marijuana cultivation and sales constitute an illegal power grab under the 10th Amendment. The amendment awards to states legislative authority not explicitly reserved for the federal government.
The suit names Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney for Northern California, as defendants.
Student doing pull-ups dies in wall collapse
WILLIAMSTON | An 8-foot wall collapsed in a Michigan high school locker room, killing a 14-year-old student who had jumped and grabbed for the top to do a pull-up, police said Thursday.
Williamston High School freshman Gabriel Corbett was buried under cement blocks Wednesday and later pronounced dead at a hospital, Police Chief Bob Young said. It was not known why the interior wall came down.
District finance chief Steve Cook said there had been no reports of structural problems in the locker room, which was built in 1990.
On its website, Williamston Community Schools called it a "tragic accident." The high school was open Thursday.
Police search lake for missing baby
KANSAS CITY | Police searched a small lake near the home where a 10-month-old baby was reported missing more than three weeks ago.
Police said the search Thursday at Chaumiere Lake was not prompted by a tip but was another area near the child's home that needed to be searched.
Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin reported their daughter, Lisa Irwin, missing Oct. 4. Police have conducted several searches and fielded many tips but say they no suspects in the case.
Man pleads guilty to kidney trafficking
TRENTON | A New York City man has pleaded guilty to brokering the sale of black-market organs in what prosecutors say is the first federal conviction for illegally selling human kidneys for profit.
Levy Izhak Rosenbaum pleaded guilty Thursday in a federal courtroom in Trenton to brokering three illegal kidney transplants for New Jersey-based customers in exchange for payments of $120,000 or more.
Prosecutors say Rosenbaum, 60, of Brooklyn, would buy organs from vulnerable people in Israel for $10,000 and sell them to desperate patients.
Rosenbaum was arrested in July 2009 in New Jersey's largest corruption sting, which netted 46 suspects.
He was caught up in the case by an undercover government cooperator posing as a crooked businessman wanting to buy a kidney for a sick relative.
Some 21 possible E. coli cases probed by state
RALEIGH | North Carolina officials are investigating up to 21 possible cases of E. coli affecting people in six counties, with four children still hospitalized because of the ailment.
State Epidemiologist Megan Davies said Thursday that nine cases have been confirmed, and 12 more are being evaluated.
Most of the cases come from Wake County, which has seven confirmed and four suspected ones. Sampson County has six, and there is one each in Durham, Johnston, Franklin and Cleveland counties.
Eight of the nine confirmed cases were people who attended the state fair, but Miss Davies said investigators don't know yet how many of the suspected cases were at the event.
She said it's not clear what else the confirmed cases had in common besides attending the fair in its early days.
Ex-teacher convicted in student sex case
LEBANON | A former Ohio high school teacher has been found guilty of having sex with teenage boys at her home.
Stacy Schuler, 33, was convicted Thursday of sexual battery. She could face decades in prison.
She was accused of having sex with five Mason High School students, some football players, at her Springboro home in 2010. She had been a teacher and athletic trainer at the school north of Cincinnati since 2000 and resigned in February after being charged.
Earlier this week, five former students testified they had sexual encounters with Schuler at her Springboro home.
She pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Her lawyers argued she had medical and psychological issues and didn't remember the alleged incidents. They also said the students took advantage of her.
Boy, ill after smoking synthetic pot, dies
PITTSBURGH | A Pennsylvania eighth-grader who became ill after smoking synthetic marijuana and had a double lung transplant has died.
Tonya Rice told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that her 13-year-old son, Brandon, died Thursday morning at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh at UPMC.
The boy smoked the fake marijuana out of a plastic Pez candy dispenser and suffered chemical burns to both lungs as a result. He was put on a respirator in June and had a double-lung transplant in September.
The boy's mother said anti-rejection drugs he had taken since the transplants weakened his immune system and made him unable to fight off a recent infection.
Gov. Tom Corbett signed a law outlawing such substances in Pennsylvania a few days after the boy smoked the substances. The ban took effect in August.