- - Monday, March 5, 2012

CRANSTON — Officials at a Rhode Island public high school have taken down a prayer banner that a federal judge ordered removed.

The state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued over the banner’s constitutionality, says the display at Cranston West High School has been permanently removed.

Executive Director Steven Brown says the ACLU has agreed to allow more time to settle the issue of legal fees. ACLU lawyers who sued on behalf of 16-year-old Jessica Ahlquist have asked the court to order the city to pay $173,000. The city has until March 19 to lay out its opposition.

Cranston schools superintendent Peter Nero tells the Providence Journal the banner is being stored in an undisclosed location.

The school committee voted last month not to appeal the judge’s ruling.

CALIFORNIA

Condoms now required for city’s porn actors

LOS ANGELES — Condoms are now required on Los Angeles porn sets.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed an ordinance in January requiring that actors in adult movies in the city must use condoms in order for producers to get a filming permit, and the rule took effect Monday.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation lobbied for the regulation for years and says it’s essential to protect adult film actors from HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. The group is collecting signatures for a November ballot measure that would require condoms on sets countywide.

But industry leaders say the new regulation might drive them from the nation’s porn capital. They estimate that as many as 90 percent of U.S. porn films are made in Los Angeles, most of them in the suburban San Fernando Valley.

WEST VIRGINIA

Boy trying to help mom killed by car

CHARLESTON — Authorities say an 11-year-old boy was killed as he tried to get help for his mother, who was fighting with her boyfriend on the side of an interstate in West Virginia.

Charleston police say the woman, 30-year-old Lynitrah M. Woodson, was driving on Interstate 77 late Saturday when she got into an argument with her boyfriend, 21-year-old Ethan Samuel Chic-Colbert. Police say he hit Ms. Woodson, then dragged her out of the car after she pulled over.

The boy, Jahlil Clements, got out and tried to flag down a passing vehicle for help. Police documents say the driver, who is not being charged, did not see the boy and struck him. The 11-year-old died a day later.

Mr. Chic-Colbert is charged with child neglect causing injury. He’s being held on $100,000 bond. Jail records did not indicate whether he had an attorney.

NEW JERSEY

Synagogue firebomb suspect pleads not guilty

HACKENSACK — The second man charged in a series of attacks on synagogues in northern New Jersey has pleaded not guilty.

Nineteen-year-old Aakash Dalal of New Brunswick is charged with conspiracy, aggravated arson, bias intimidation and criminal mischief.

Mr. Dalal appeared in court in Hackensack on Monday. His plea was entered by his attorney.

He’s being held on $2.5 million bail.

After Mr. Dalal was arrested Friday, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli characterized him as an instigator in the January firebombings allegedly carried out by then-19-year-old Anthony Graziano.

Mr. Dalal is alleged to have encouraged Graziano and showed him how to make the bombs, though he’s not believed to have participated in the acts themselves.

The attacks included firebombing of a house of worship where a rabbi and several family members were sleeping upstairs.

PENNSYLVANIA

Police: DUI suspect tries high-fiving cop

TYRONE — Police say a central Pennsylvania man thanked and tried to high-five the officer who flagged him down for driving without his lights - only to then be arrested on a drunken-driving charge.

The Altoona Mirror reports that Gerald Decker was driving early Feb. 19 when a Tyrone officer noticed that Mr. Decker’s car didn’t have its lights on and flagged him down.

Officer Adam Bonsell says Mr. Decker told him, “Thanks, buddy,” and tried to high-five him. Mr. Bonsell told him, “That’s not how it works” and gave Mr. Decker field sobriety tests.

Police say Mr. Decker’s blood-alcohol content was 2 1/2 times the legal limit for drivers.

The charges were recently mailed to Mr. Decker.

Online court records don’t list an attorney for the 27-year-old Mr. Decker of Tyrone. His phone number isn’t listed.

MICHIGAN

Detroit-area woman stalked by turkey

COMMERCE TOWNSHIP — An Oakland County woman says she sneaks out of her house early in the morning to avoid a stalker - a 25-pound turkey willing to bump, scratch and harass her.

Edna Geisler calls the foul bird “Godzilla.” The 69-year-old tells the Detroit Free Press that the turkey wanders into her Commerce Township property each day from nearby woods. She says she recently couldn’t get to her front door after a trip to the grocery store.

A video posted on the Free Press website shows Godzilla roaming the property like it’s his own. State wildlife expert Tim Payne says adult turkeys are known to aggressively defend their territory.

Mr. Payne suggests Ms. Geisler open a large umbrella to drive the turkey back to the woods.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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