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MISSISSIPPI

Pardoned killer may fight return to state

JACKSON | A convicted murderer who left Mississippi after being pardoned by former Gov. Haley Barbour seems poised to fight attempts to force him to return from Wyoming.

Joseph Ozment’s attorney, Robert Moxley, told the Associated Press on Thursday that he will defend Mr. Ozment’s freedom if he decides to try to stay in Wyoming. The 40-year-old is not a fugitive and no warrant has been issued for his arrest.

A legal challenge to the pardons, however, is headed for the Mississippi Supreme Court next week. It’s far from clear what might happen to those who were freed from prison by the pardons, such as Mr. Ozment.

Mr. Ozment worked as a trusty at the Governor’s Mansion before he was pardoned last month in the final days of Mr. Barbour’s second term. He had dropped out of sight by the time state Attorney General Jim Hood persuaded a judge to order Mr. Ozment and four others to check in daily with corrections officials and attend hearings.

TEXAS

Dallas, Fort Worth emerge from drought

HOUSTON | For millions of Dallas-area residents, one of the most severe droughts in Texas history is no longer a concern, for now.

The U.S. Drought Monitor, in its weekly map posted online Thursday, classified the Dallas-Fort Worth area as officially out of drought for the first time since July, likely heralding the lifting of water restrictions on the more than 6 million people in the nation’s fourth-most populous metro area, and the region north and northeast to the Oklahoma and Arkansas borders.

But meteorologists and climatologists warn the situation remains precarious. Texas is experiencing the most severe single year of drought in its history, and nearly 60 percent of the state remains in severe or exceptional stages of drought. Another dry spring or blistering hot summer could quickly reverse any gains.

NEW YORK

Police: TSA agent stole $5K from passenger

NEW YORK | A Transportation Security Administration agent, police say, stole $5,000 in cash from a passenger’s jacket as he was going through security at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the latest in a string of thefts that has embarrassed the agency.

Alexandra Schmid took the cash from the jacket of a Bangladeshi passenger as it went along an X-ray conveyor belt at around 8 p.m. Wednesday, said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s police force.

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