American Scene: Oregon teens missing in foothills after day hike

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PORTLAND — More than 50 searchers Monday converged on the foothills south of Portland looking for two teenagers who failed to return from a day hike and were missing after two nights of wet, windy weather.

Deputy Nate Thompson of the Clackamas County sheriff’s office said the two are Boy Scouts experienced in the outdoors, but authorities don’t know what kind of gear they took with them.

The teens — Bradley Nelson, 16, and Jackson Chandler, 17 — left West Linn in suburban Portland on Saturday afternoon intending to hike and return to their car by dark, Deputy Thompson said.

Their parents called for help when the boys didn’t return on time. Searchers Sunday found the car the teens drove five miles east of the Table Rock Wilderness area.

HAWAII

Maui beaches closed after shark attack

WAILUKU — A 51-year-old woman from California was attacked over the weekend by a shark off Makena Landing Beach Park on Maui.

Maui News reported that the beaches near the park were closed Saturday afternoon after the shark attacked the woman when she was about 20 yards from shore. The shark was estimated to be from 10 to 12 feet long.

Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga says the woman suffered puncture wounds to her right inner thigh and lacerations to the front and back of her right hand from pushing the shark away.

She was in stable condition at a hospital.

OKLAHOMA

Former church worker pleads guilty to rape

TULSA — A former employee of a Tulsa megachurch accused of raping a 13-year-old girl pleaded guilty Monday to six sex-crime charges.

Chris Denman, 20, faces up to life in prison after entering the plea. He is due in court Dec. 12 for sentencing.

Denman was accused in August of raping the girl on the campus of Victory Christian Center, a megachurch that has 17,000 members. Denman was also charged with molesting a 15-year-old girl and making a lewd proposal to a 12-year-old girl.

He pleaded guilty Monday to all charges filed against him: first-degree rape, forcible oral sodomy of a child, lewd molestation, lewd proposal to a child and two counts of using a computer to facilitate a sex crime.

LOUISIANA

Colonial records shed new light on U.S. history

NEW ORLEANS — A marathon project is under way in New Orleans to digitize thousands of time-worn 18th-century French and Spanish legal papers that historians say give the first historical accounts of slaves and free blacks in North America.

Yellowed page by yellowed page, archivists are scanning the 220,000 manuscript pages from the French Superior Council and Spanish Judiciary from 1714 to 1803 in an effort to digitize, preserve, translate and index Louisiana’s colonial past and in the process help rewrite American history.

The few historians who’ve pored over the unique archive say it’s pivotal because it connects early America to the broader history of the Atlantic slave trade. It’s at the heart of a wave of research tracing American roots beyond the English colonies and into Spain, France and Africa.

FLORIDA

Arrest made in Maryland in 2001 Florida homicide

PUNTA GORDA — Charlotte County sheriff’s detectives have made an arrest in connection with the homicide of a 19-year-old whose skeleton was found in a patch of Florida woods in 2001.

Sheriff Bill Cameron said Monday that arrest warrants for first degree murder were issued for Phillip Gavin Barr, 43, and David Ray McMannis, 39. They say Mr. McMannis was arrested in Cumberland, Md.

The men are accused of killing Tara Danielle Sidarovich, who disappeared from her Punta Gorda, Fla., home in 2001. Mr. Barr owned a septic system repair company, and he and Mr. McMannis were at Ms. Sidarovich’s home doing work the day she disappeared.

Mr. McMannis is awaiting extradition to Florida. Authorities are searching for Mr. Barr and say he might be in New York or Vermont.

MASSACHUSETTS

Another pharmacy shut down by state

BOSTON — Massachusetts shut down another compounding pharmacy over sterility concerns after a surprise inspection prompted by the nationwide meningitis outbreak linked to a different company, state officials have said.

Dr. Madeleine Biondolillo of the state Department of Public Health said inspectors went to the Waltham location of Rhode Island-based Infusion Resource last week and found significant issues with the environment in which drugs were being mixed.

The company was inspected when it first opened in December 2009 and there had been no complaints since. She said the manager of record at the company was a former employee at Ameridose, which is owned by the same people who ran New England Compounding Center, the company linked to the meningitis outbreak.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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