- - Tuesday, September 6, 2011

GEORGIA

Pot-smoking judge ousted from bench

ATLANTA | A Georgia judge who pointed a gun at himself while at the courthouse, berated his boss in a bizarre televised rant and admitted to regularly smoking marijuana was ousted from the bench for life by the state’s top court Tuesday.

The Georgia Supreme Court’s unanimous opinion barred Catoosa County Magistrate Anthony Peters from ever holding another judicial office in Georgia, concluding that he has done “nothing to show that he has any ability to live up to the high standard of conduct expected of members of the judiciary in Georgia.”

Mr. Peters’ home phone number was disconnected, and his attorney Chris Townley did not return calls and emails Tuesday seeking comment. But Mr. Peters said during an April hearing that the violations took place during a “rough patch” in his life, and his attorney blamed his behavior on prescription drug abuse after his client was involved in a devastating 2005 ATV accident.

LOUISIANA

About 60 percent of Gulf oil production still shut down

NEW ORLEANS | Federal regulators say about 60 percent of the normal daily oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is still turned off following the passage of Tropical Storm Lee.

As of Tuesday, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement said 131 of the 617 staffed production platforms were evacuated. About 41 percent of the Gulf’s normal daily production of natural gas also was shut down.

The closed-off production amounted to about 846,000 barrels of oil and 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas.

The agency said offshore petroleum companies were sending personnel back to the platforms Tuesday, and production could resume immediately after the platforms pass damage inspections.

Twelve of the 70 drilling rigs exploring for petroleum in the Gulf remained evacuated Tuesday.

MISSISSIPPI

Family of man killed by truck alleges hate crime in lawsuit

JACKSON | The family of a black man who authorities say was run over by a white teenager in a truck filed a wrongful-death lawsuit Tuesday over the alleged hate crime.

The lawsuit, filed in Hinds County, Circuit Court, accuses seven white teenagers of setting out on June 26 after a night of partying to find a random black man to harass. The accusation tracks with police allegations that a group of teens was out looking for a black man to “mess with” when they found James Craig Anderson, 49, before dawn in the parking lot of a Jackson hotel.

Investigators have said two of the teens attacked Anderson before one of them climbed into a green Ford F-250 and ran him down near the hotel on Ellis Avenue.

Two of the defendants in the lawsuit also face criminal charges. Deryl Dedmon, 19, is charged with capital murder and robbery in Anderson’s death. Authorities say Mr. Dedmon ran over Mr. Anderson and later bragged about it.

John Aaron Rice is charged with assault. Police say he attacked Mr. Anderson before he was run over.

OHIO

Auction starts at $900,000 for diamond seized in case

CLEVELAND | A large yellow diamond seized in a money laundering investigation in Ohio has gone on the auction block and quickly attracted an offer that exceeds the minimum starting bid of $900,000.

The U.S. Marshals Service’s online auction of the 43.51-carat Golden Eye diamond began Tuesday and continues until Thursday afternoon. By mid-afternoon Tuesday, four bids were submitted, including one for $1.5 million.

The diamond belonged to a northeastern Ohio businessman who was convicted of money laundering and conspiracy. Prosecutors say he tried to sell the diamond and an estate once owned by boxer Mike Tyson to an undercover FBI agent for $19.5 million and a boat.

The diamond was seized and forfeited to the government. The U.S. Marshals Service contracted with Maryland-based Bid4Assets to auction it online.

VERMONT

Vacation homes sought for Irene flood victims

MORETOWN | Vermont’s governor is asking anyone who owns a second home in the state to let displaced Irene flood victims use it temporarily.

Citing preliminary assessments that show about 700 homes were damaged or destroyed in the Aug. 28 flood, Gov. Peter Shumlin says he hopes second-home owners will step up to fill the need for temporary housing.

He says assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency won’t go all the way to getting most people who lost everything to flooding situated in their own housing.

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