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American Scene: University police chief retires amid hazing probes

TALLAHASSEE — The police chief at Florida A&M University is retiring less than a week after reports surfaced that Tallahassee authorities didn't receive timely information about an off-campus hazing incident from 2010.

The university announced Tuesday that Calvin Ross will retire May 1 after 11 years with the university and 40 years in law enforcement. The school said the chief asked to be put on leave immediately.

Assistant Police Chief John Earst will replace the chief on an interim basis.

Tallahassee police said last week that they were unable to file charges from an off-campus hazing incident in early 2010 because they didn't receive a report from university authorities who investigated that incident.

The historically black college has been in turmoil since the Nov. 20 death of drum major Robert Champion after a separate hazing ritual.

COLORADO

Pilot says she didn't see other plane in collision

DENVER — A pilot who survived a collision aloft in Colorado said she never saw the other aircraft but heard a loud bang and felt her plane roll to the right, an aviation investigator said Tuesday.

Two people in the other plane died when it plummeted to the ground after the March 23 collision in clear skies near Longmont, about 30 miles north of Denver.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Timothy Sorensen said the surviving pilot said she didn't see the other plane before or after the crash.

That pilot, Beverly Cameron, 72, suffered minor injuries when she crash-landed minutes later near Vance Brand Airport in Longmont. She was the only person aboard.

Authorities said Ms. Cameron was about 1,000 yards from the airport runway when her single-engine Cessna 180 clipped four overhead power lines and crashed into a fence. The engine separated from the rest of the plane on impact, and the fuselage was crushed and mangled.

The two killed in the other plane were 30-year-old Ryan Brungardt, an instructor pilot, and 64-year-old Edward "Lee" Omohundro, a student pilot. Their single-engine Cessna 172S crashed close to two homes in southeast Longmont.

OHIO

Gay student sues district over T-shirt with message

CINCINNATI — A gay student whose southwestern Ohio high school prohibited him from wearing a T-shirt designed to urge tolerance of gays is suing the school, saying it is violating his right to freedom of expression.

The mother of 16-year-old Maverick Couch filed the federal lawsuit on his behalf against Wayne Local School District and the principal of Waynesville High School, northeast of Cincinnati.

Maverick is a junior at the school. His lawsuit says he has been threatened with suspension if he wears a shirt bearing the message "Jesus Is Not a Homophobe." The lawsuit says school officials told him that the shirt is "sexual in nature" and inappropriate.

CALIFORNIA

Transgender woman can enter pageant

LOS ANGELES — Donald Trump wished a transgender woman who wants to be Miss Universe good luck Tuesday as his organization said she can vie for Canada's spot in the pageant.

The Miss Universe Organization said it actually made the decision Monday to let 23-year-old Jenna Talackova compete in the 2012 competition to become Canada's contestant.

Miss Talackova, a Vancouver resident, underwent a sex change four years ago after being born a male.

Her sex change initially led organizers in Canada to disqualify her from the 61st Miss Universe Canada pageant in May, citing a rule that she must be "naturally born" a woman.

GEORGIA

Woman who was world's oldest doctor dies at 114

ATLANTA — Dr. Leila Denmark, the world's oldest practicing physician when she retired at age 103, died Sunday in Athens, her family members said. She was 114.

Dr. Denmark became the first resident physician at Henrietta Egleston Hospital for Children in Atlanta when it opened in 1928, said her grandson, Steven Hutcherson of Atlanta. She also admitted the first patient at the hospital, now part of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

She loved helping children, and it showed in the way she would turn to the next family waiting to see her, Mr. Hutcherson said.

"She would say, 'Who is the next little angel?' " he said.

Dr. Denmark began her pediatrics practice in her home in Atlanta in 1931 and continued until her retirement in 2001. That year, she earned the distinction of being the world's oldest practicing physician, said Robert Young, senior consultant for gerontology for Guinness World Records. She was also the world's fourth-oldest living person when she died, Mr. Young said.

Throughout her career, she always kept her office in or near her home, where children and their parents would show up at all hours in need of care, family members said.

"The kids would come in and she would spend as much time as she needed with the parents to help fix that baby or that child," Mr. Hutcherson said. "What she would do is figure out how to help them stay well."

CALIFORNIA

Occupy protesters arrested in vacant building

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco police arrested nearly 80 Occupy protesters who had taken over an empty building and apparently planned to stay there for the long term.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that officers in riot gear stormed the two-story building Monday after breaking through a barricade that the activists had built.

Police said no one was injured during the arrests.

The building is owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco and had been used as a music education facility. The protesters entered the structure Sunday after holding a rally and march nearby.

Activists said the building should be used as a center for health services and education.

WASHINGTON

Space tourist just one way to describe Simonyi

SEATTLE — Charles Simonyi may still be described as a space tourist even though he hasn't hung out in outer space for a few years.

The Microsoft billionaire has no plans to take a third vacation on the International Space Station, but he's still obsessed with space. He is heavily involved in the Seattle Museum of Flight's new space gallery.

He runs his own software company and recently got involved in book publishing.

The son of a Hungarian physicist, the 63-year-old mogul just made one of his father's dreams come true by helping translate the senior Mr. Simonyi's epic about physics into English.

WISCONSIN

Woman lands plane after husband dies at controls

STURGEON BAY — The son of an 80-year-old woman said she knew her husband had died after he fell unconscious at the controls of a small plane, yet she remained calm as she landed the aircraft at a northeastern Wisconsin airport.

In a telephone interview Tuesday, James Collins said he is also a pilot and that he helped his mother, Helen Collins, via radio as the plane ran out of gas Monday evening. Another pilot took to the skies to guide her to the ground.

Mr. Collins said his mother learned to take off and land about 30 years ago at her husband's urging, in case something happened to him. She has flown hundreds of hours by his side.

Mrs. Collins' 81-year-old husband, John, was pronounced dead at a hospital.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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