- - Sunday, October 30, 2011


Sex-offender parolees face Halloween ‘roundup’

SACRAMENTO | About 2,000 paroled California sex offenders have no permanent home. This Halloween, however, many will spend the night together under supervision from authorities who want to make sure they have no contact with children out trick-or-treating.

It’s the first time California parole agents are targeting offenders who live on the streets or in nomadic campsites.

Their ranks have spiked since voters approved Jessica’s Law, which bans offenders from living near schools and parks. The number of transient paroled sex offenders has since grown from 88 in August 2007 to about 2,000 now that the law has been fully implemented.

Parole agents who cover Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco are setting up the “transient sex-offender roundup centers,” mostly at parole offices and community centers. Offenders have been ordered to stay there from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday.


Search for missing put off after grain-elevator blast

ATCHISON | Crews have suspended rescue efforts for three people missing since an explosion at a Kansas grain elevator that killed three workers and injured two.

Atchison City Manager Trey Cocking says the search was suspended Sunday while crews waited for more specialized equipment to help in the search at the Bartlett Grain Co. elevator.

Mr. Cocking said earlier that the company had been weighing whether it was safe to send rescue teams into the facility, which sustained significant damage in the Saturday night explosion.

The family of one of the men who is unaccounted for waited Sunday at the site for news. Gary Keil, of Salina, Kan., said his son, 34-year-old Travis Keil is a state grain inspector missing since the explosion. He said the family is praying for his safe return.


Lawyer leaves missing-baby case

KANSAS CITY | The Kansas City attorney for the family of a baby reported missing more than three weeks ago announced Friday she has stopped representing the family, leaving them with one New York-based lawyer.

Cyndy Short said in a one-sentence emailed statement that she “is no longer working with the family of Lisa Irwin as their local counsel.” Ms. Short did not respond to phone and email messages seeking an explanation about her departure and her brief tenure representing Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin.

Mrs. Bradley and Mr. Irwin reported their 10-month-old daughter, Lisa Irwin, missing Oct. 4 after Mr. Irwin returned from a late shift at work. Police have conducted several searches and cleared hundreds of leads in the baby’s disappearance, but say there are no suspects.

The family’s other attorney, Joe Tacopina of New York, has declined to say who hired him to represent the family. He also did not respond Friday to email and phone messages asking about Ms. Short’s announcement that she was no longer involved. It was unclear Friday who would serve as local counsel for the family.


Police say burglary suspect broke in to watch TV

PORTLAND | Police in Oregon say a man broke into a home in Portland to watch television.

The Oregonian reported Sunday that 32-year-old Jason Leon Bastrom faces charges of criminal trespass after the homeowner called police.

According to police, Mr. Bastrom let himself in through an unlocked front door early Sunday and sat down on the couch to watch television. The homeowner alerted authorities, and then sent over for a family member who lived nearby.

Authorities say the family member confronted Mr. Bastrom and struck him in the head, knocking him unconscious. Authorities took Mr. Bastrom to the hospital to be treated for injuries before booking him into the Multnomah County Jail.


Police arrest 39 at Occupy Austin event

AUSTIN | Thirty-nine people have been arrested after a pair of pre-dawn confrontations between police and Occupy Austin protesters in Texas.

The first confrontation came about 12:30 a.m. Sunday when officers moved to enforce a new rule banning food tables in the City Hall plaza after 10 p.m. Some protesters surrounded the tables with arms linked.

The Austin American-Statesman reported that another confrontation came when more than 50 police officers moved to clear an amphitheater on the plaza for a regular power-washing, leading to more arrests. Most of the protesters, however, remained peaceful and moved to allow the cleaning before returning to their spots.

No injuries were reported.


Mormon Halloween bash bans ‘cross-gender’ costumes

SALT LAKE CITY | A recent Halloween party hosted by a Mormon church ward in Utah angered at least one resident after fliers specified no “cross-gender” costumes.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that that meant no girls dressed as Harry Potter or boys as Lady Liberty at the party in Sandy.

Raquel Smith, who is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says she was “appalled” when she read the flier taped to her door. The flier urged children to “wear costumes” but noted, “please no masks or cross-gender dressing.”

LDS Bishop Dennis Toone, whose ward hosted the party, says he thought it was church policy, but it wasn’t. He says anyone who didn’t like the rule didn’t have to attend.

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