Dad won't be buried near two sons he killed
SEATTLE | The man who killed his two sons in an explosive house fire in Washington state will not be buried in the same cemetery as the children, his family said Thursday.
Josh Powell's mother, Terri Powell, issued a written statement confirming that the family had given up a plot tentatively reserved at Woodbine Cemetery overlooking the boys' grave.
"We have tried so hard to be loving and considerate and respectful in making Josh's burial arrangements," she said. "We love our little Charlie and Braden and want their resting place to be a place of peace and comfort."
Powell, the husband of missing Utah woman Susan Powell, killed his 5- and 7-year-old sons and himself in a gas-fueled blaze Feb. 5 at a home he was renting in Graham.
More than 1,000 mourners attended the boys' funeral Saturday. They were later buried in a single casket at Woodbine, a municipal cemetery in Puyallup.
Terri Powell realized early this week that no one else was planning for what to do with Josh Powell's remains, said her son-in-law, Kirk Graves. She visited a funeral home and a few cemeteries, he said, and she "cluelessly" picked a grave site just up the hill from where the boys are buried.
Appalachian Trail hikers' post office to close
CONCORD | Residents of a small village in New Hampshire's White Mountains have lost their fight to save their post office, one of several catering to hikers walking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.
The independent Postal Regulatory Commission on Thursday upheld the U.S. Postal Service's decision to close the office in Glencliff, a village of fewer than 100 residents.
The Postal Service is on the brink of bankruptcy. It estimates it will save $27,000 a year by closing the office and shifting business to nearby Warren. Residents argue doing so will erode the community's identity and leave them no place to gather with neighbors.
The Postal Service has proposed closing thousands of offices nationwide but has agreed to wait until mid-May to begin closures so Congress can stabilize its finances first.
Fugitive brothers enter pleas to reduced charges
DENVER | Two of three fugitive siblings who were the focus of a nationwide manhunt last summer pleaded guilty Thursday to reduced charges in Colorado.
Ryan Dougherty, 21, and Dylan Stanley-Dougherty, 26, along with their sister, Lee Grace Dougherty, were captured Aug. 10 after a chase in southern Colorado. The trio was accused of shooting at a police officer in Florida, as well as robbing a Georgia bank.
Dylan Dougherty pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree assault and faces up to 32 years in prison. Ryan Dougherty pleaded guilty to five counts of menacing and faces up to 20 years in prison, state court administrator's office spokesman Jon Sarche said.
Their sister, Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, pleaded guilty last week to reduced charges of first-degree assault and two counts of menacing, all felonies.
Police chief, four others fired for cinnamon prank
JACKSON | A Mississippi town fired its police chief, two officers and two town officials after a video surfaced purportedly showing them encouraging a mentally disabled man to eat a mouthful of cinnamon as part of a prank.
An attorney for the man, Denareus Martin, 18, said a video was taken at City Hall by one of the officials in the town of Tutwiler, and posted on YouTube, though it has since been taken down. A separate video, which also was posted and removed, showed a police officer boxing with Mr. Martin, attorney Ellis Pittman said.
In the cinnamon video, a woman uses a piece of paper to pour a substance into Mr. Martin's mouth while a group of people can be heard laughing in the background. Mr. Martin holds the cinnamon in his mouth for a few seconds before coughing and spitting it out. He runs to a water fountain and then to a restroom, where he appears on the verge of vomiting.
Mr. Pittman said his client was choking, but the officials "were all laughing, grinning and having a grand time."
Former Tutwiler Police Chief Terry Tyler told the Associated Press on Thursday that he and the others were fired Tuesday during a specially called meeting of the Tutwiler Board of Aldermen.
Judge: Church can continuing holding services at public school
NEW YORK | A federal judge cleared the way Thursday for a tiny Bronx church to continue meeting for religious services at a New York City public school despite an appeals court ruling upholding the city's ban on use of the schools for worship services.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska was the latest development in a 17-year legal battle. It came just as the city was beginning to enforce a New York City Board of Education policy that requires no permit be granted "for the purpose of holding religious worship services, or otherwise using a school as a house of worship," though it does allow community groups, even religious ones, to use its buildings.
Judge Preska said the Bronx Household of Faith was likely to win its latest challenge to the city regulation on the grounds that the ban violates the First Amendment assurance that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. She also said the church had demonstrated it would suffer irreparable harm if it could not continue to use Public School 15 for Sunday morning worship services.
Jonathan Pines, a city attorney, said the city will seek an immediate appeal.
Couple get eight years for son's death from cancer
CLEVELAND | The parents of an 8-year-old boy who died from Hodgkin lymphoma after suffering for months from undiagnosed swollen glands was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to denying him medical treatment.
Attorneys for Monica Hussing, 37, and William Robinson Sr., 40, had said the parents had financial problems and tried to get checkups for their son but couldn't afford it.
The couple was given the maximum sentence by Cuyahoga County Judge Michael Astrab, who accepted their guilty plea last month to attempted involuntary manslaughter in a last-minute plea deal before their trial was about to begin. They were handcuffed and taken into custody immediately. Both plan to appeal the sentence.
Willie Robinson collapsed at his home on March 22, 2008. Prosecutors say he had begged his parents to take him to see a doctor but was rejected. Hodgkin lymphoma is a highly treatable cancer.
Salvadoran charged in deaths of priests denies perjury
BOSTON | A former Salvadoran military officer accused of colluding in the 1989 slayings of six Jesuit priests pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of fraud and perjury for allegedly lying on U.S. immigration forms.
Inocente Orlando Montano, 69, was arraigned in U.S. District Court on eight charges related to the alleged immigration fraud.
Mr. Montano has lived near Boston for about a decade. He was among 20 Salvadorans separately indicted in Spain last year in the slayings during El Salvador's 12-year civil war.
Mr. Montano was arrested on the immigration charges last year. He signed a plea agreement with prosecutors but later informed the court that he would not plead guilty.
Prosecutors allege that Mr. Montano made false statements when he applied for temporary protected status in 2002. The designation allows some foreigners to seek temporary protection in the United States if they are unable to safely return to their own country.
Mr. Montano allegedly answered "no" to questions about whether he had served in a military, paramilitary or police unit.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports