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The Ohio Justice and Policy Center is suing on behalf of two Muslim inmates who want meals prepared according to Islamic law, similar to kosher meals prepared for Jewish prisoners.

Executive Director David Singleton said the announcement does not affect the lawsuit because inmates are seeking meals prepared under specific religious rules.


Man banned from parks for digging up fossil

PORTLAND — A Longview, Wash., man accused of digging up the skull of a hoglike animal that predated humans by 20 million years has been banned from national parklands for a year.

The Oregonian reported that David Wixon, 48, also must pay $4,500 in restitution for the misdemeanor crime of depredation of government property.

The fossil was from an oreodont, one of a number of stout, hoofed, plant-eating animals that are extinct.

Court records say an off-duty interpretive ranger saw Mr. Wixon using a rock hammer at a site at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in May 2007, leading to an investigation by federal agents. Authorities said they searched his house, and he returned the skull.

Prosecutors said the penalties were imposed Friday.


Chemical mixing sparks massive plant fire

WAXAHACHIE — A fire sparked as workers mixed chemicals at a plant south of Dallas shot massive plumes of black smoke and bright orange flames into the sky Monday, forcing schoolchildren and residents to evacuate or take cover indoors to avoid possible exposure to dangerous gases.

Flames engulfed a large complex at a Magnablend Inc. facility in Waxahachie. The fast-moving blaze overwhelmed a sprinkler system and consumed a firetruck, but no injuries were reported from the fire or resulting smoke.

Waxahachie Fire Chief David Hudgins said it wasn’t clear what chemicals were involved in sparking the fire. Crews were expected to allow about 1,000 evacuated residents to return to their homes in the city 30 miles south of Dallas by evening.

From wire dispatches and staff reports