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American Scene: Man removed from no-fly list

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CHICAGO — A former Islamic charity director from suburban Chicago has been removed from the FBI's no-fly list after he complained that he was stranded in the Middle East.

A federal judge in Chicago gave Enaam Arnaout permission to visit family in the Middle East, but when the 50-year-old of Bridgeview tried to return to the U.S. he found he was not allowed, so he filed a federal lawsuit.

The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday that Mr. Arnaout's attorney said the U.S. Treasury Department has delisted Mr. Arnaout.

The U.S. Treasury Department classified Mr. Arnaout as a "specially designated terrorist" in 1995 while he was imprisoned in Israel charged with supporting Hamas. Mr. Arnaout returned to the U.S. and in 2003 was imprisoned for defrauding donors to his charity, Benevolence International. He was released in 2010.

NEVADA

Ex-prosecutor gets prison in drug case

LAS VEGAS — A former prosecutor-turned-fugitive who once handled the high-profile Las Vegas drug cases of celebrities Paris Hilton and Bruno Mars was sentenced Wednesday to a reduced term of 12 to 30 months in prison term after his return from Mexico.

David Schubert, 49, fled there to avoid jail after pleading guilty in a crack cocaine possession case. In court, he didn't apologize as he stood for sentencing before Clark County District Court Judge Carolyn Ellsworth, defense attorney Louis Schneider said.

"He feels as if he shouldn't have even been there," Mr. Schneider said later.

Instead, Schubert told the judge he felt he'd been treated exceptionally harshly for his March 2011 arrest with $40 in rock cocaine and an unregistered handgun in his car.

MASSACHUSETTS

Pharmacy board director is fired

BOSTON — The Massachusetts pharmacy board's director has been fired for ignoring a complaint that a company linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak was shipping drugs in bulk in violation of its state license.

The Colorado pharmacy board complained about the New England Compounding Center in July, before the third of three batches of tainted steroids linked to the outbreak was shipped.

NECC was authorized only to fill prescriptions for specific patients.

State officials said Director James D. Coffey forwarded the complaint to the board's attorney, Susan Manning, who also failed to act. Mr. Coffey was fired Tuesday. Ms. Manning is on administrative leave.

A state health and human services spokesman said neither Ms. Manning nor Mr. Coffey notified the state Department of Public Health leadership about the complaint.

The outbreak has spread to 19 states and killed 31 people.

MICHIGAN

Shooting-spree suspect arraigned, jailed

HOWELL — Michigan prosecutors have charged a 43-year-old man suspected in a shooting spree along a 100-mile stretch of roads with assault with a dangerous weapon and other gun charges.

A district court judge set Raulie Casteel's bond at $2 million during Wednesday's hearing in Howell, a community 55 miles northwest of Detroit. Mr. Casteel's next court date was scheduled for Nov. 14.

Mr. Casteel was arrested Monday at his home in Wixom. He's suspected of 24 shootings, mostly at moving vehicles. They occurred in four counties beginning Oct. 16. One person was wounded.

Mr. Casteel's mother, Lana Hunt, has told the Detroit Free Press that she's worried he might be mentally ill but refuses to see a doctor.

NEW YORK

Man guilty of torching woman, 73, in elevator

NEW YORK — A New York City man has pleaded guilty to fatally burning an elderly woman inside the elevator of her apartment building.

Prosecutors announced Wednesday that Jerome Isaac had pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, arson and torture in the December 2011 death of Deloris Gillespie in Brooklyn.

The plea bargain calls a sentence of 50 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Isaac attacked the 73-year-old woman because he believed she owed him money. They say he doused her with gasoline, set her on fire and then threw a firebomb inside the elevator.

The attack was recorded on a security camera.

Remains of Korean War casualty now home

SYRACUSE — The remains of a Korean War soldier who died in battle in 1950 have been returned home to upstate New York.

The 80-year-old sister of Cpl. Elmer Kidd welcomed her brother’s flag-draped casket at Hancock Airport in Syracuse on Tuesday.

Kidd was 26 when he died in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. His remains were among those in 208 boxes turned over to the U.S. by North Korea in 1993 but they were only recently identified through DNA tests.

A funeral will be held Friday and Kidd will be buried at the Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Romulus in Seneca Falls.

PENNSYLVANIA

Etan Patz suspect released, then held

PHILADELPHIA — A man long considered the prime suspect in the disappearance of a New York City boy more than three decades ago was released from a Pennsylvania prison Wednesday, then immediately arrested on a Megan's Law violation after providing an outdated address of where he would be residing, state police said.

Jose Antonio Ramos was arrested after his release from a northeastern Pennsylvania prison, where he spent more than 20 years for molesting children, because he failed to provide accurate information as a sex offender, according to state police.

Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Richard Krawetz said Ramos gave an address of a relative from more than 30 years ago and, while the address existed, the relative hasn't lived at that location for years.

Ramos had long been suspected in the disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz, who vanished May 25, 1979, after leaving his Manhattan home to go to a bus stop two blocks away. It was the first time his parents had let him go off to school alone.

TEXAS

Expert: Fridge may have caused day care fire

HOUSTON — A refrigerator, not a stove, might be to blame for causing a fire at a Texas home day care that killed four children and injured three others, an engineering expert told jurors Wednesday during the owner's murder trial.

Prosecutors allege that Jessica Tata had hot oil cooking on a stove at her day care job when she left the children alone to go shopping at a nearby Target store. But Tata's defense attorneys have told jurors she didn't intend to harm the children, who ranged in age from 16 months to 3 years old, and that the February 2011 fire was not caused by anything their client did.

Tata, 24, is charged with four counts of felony murder but is currently being tried in the death of 16-month-old Elias Castillo. She faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Electrical engineer Richard Bonyata, testifying for Tata, told jurors he believes a switch that would have been used to turn on the burner in question was in the off position at the time of the blaze.

Because of that, he said, "You would have to consider all other competent ignition sources ... and completely eliminate everything else."

OREGON

4.2-magnitude quake reported off coast

PORTLAND — A 4.2-magnitude earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Oregon and California.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck early Wednesday roughly 140 miles west of Gold Beach, Ore., just north of the California border.

The sheriff's office in Curry County said there were no reports of shaking or damage.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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