- - Tuesday, September 27, 2011


City collects $4,000 from sagging-pants ban

ALBANY — Officials in Albany say the city’s ban on saggy pants has generated nearly $4,000 in fines in less than a year.

City Attorney Nathan Davis says 187 citations have been issued and $3,916 in fines collected since the ordinance went into effect Nov. 23, according to the Albany Herald.

Officials say the ordinance bans anyone from wearing pants or skirts more than 3 inches below the top of the hips, exposing the skin or undergarments. First-time offenders face a $25 fine. On further offenses, the fine can rise to $200.

The ordinance also allows 40 hours of community service to be completed in lieu of fines.


Man charged with possessing explosives found

TRAVERSE CITY — A federal agent says a Michigan man charged with possessing more than 4,000 pounds of explosives and detonation equipment told an informant “when the government takes over, we will be mercenaries.”

But an attorney for John Francis Lechner of Sault Ste. Marie says the 64-year-old is no terrorist and planned to use the material in construction.

A federal magistrate ordered Mr. Lechner detained Monday after a hearing where the agent testified that the amount of explosives matched that in the Oklahoma City bombing.

In an affidavit, the agent says authorities got a tip that Lechner planned to transport and hide a cache of ammonium nitrate, fuel oil and detonation devices.


Longtime fugitive caught in Portugal

NEWARK — A convicted killer who escaped a New Jersey prison in 1970 and hijacked a U.S. airliner two years later while dressed as a priest has been captured in Portugal after more than 40 years as a fugitive, authorities said Tuesday.

George Wright was arrested Monday by Portuguese authorities at the request of the U.S. government, the head of the FBI’s New Jersey office said.

Wright was convicted of the 1962 murder of a gas station owner in Wall. Authorities say Wright and three associates already had committed multiple armed robberies Nov. 23, 1962, when Wright and another man fatally shot Walter Patterson, a decorated World War II veteran and father of two, during a robbery of the Collingswood Esso gas station in Wall.

He received a 15- to 30-year sentence and had served eight years when he and three other men escaped from the Bayside State Prison in Leesburg on Aug. 19, 1970.

The FBI says Wright became affiliated with an underground militant group, the Black Liberation Army, and in 1972 he and his associates hijacked a Delta Air Lines flight from Detroit to Miami.


8 NYC children missing from foster care found OK

PHILADELPHIA — Eight siblings allegedly taken from a New York child welfare agency by their mother last week were found with their parents in a parked van in central Pennsylvania, authorities said.

The children, who range in age from 11 months to 11 years, are in good condition, police said. Their parents, Shanel Nadal, 28, and Nephra Payne, 34, are in custody in Harrisburg.

The children will be returned to New York City and receive any needed medical care and counseling for any trauma they experienced, the city’s Administration for Children’s Services said.

Acting U.S. Marshal Martin Pane told the Associated Press that the investigation led them to watch the family’s van for several hours Monday evening, when it was parked on a Harrisburg street. The father has relatives nearby, he said.


New porn accusation in missing-mom case

TACOMA | A Washington state prosecutor says the husband of a missing Utah woman is the subject of a pornography and voyeurism investigation.

Josh Powell denied the accusation from the assistant attorney general for Child Protective Services, John Long, who spoke at a hearing to determine who will take custody of the couple’s children.

Susan Cox Powell has been missing since 2009. Josh Powell has been the only named person of interest in the case.

Josh Powell and his boys have been living in Puyallup at the home of his father, Steven Powell.

Steven Powell was arrested last week and charged with voyeurism and child pornography in connection with videos that were found during a search of the home. Susan Powell’s father has filed for custody of the children.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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