- - Wednesday, September 26, 2012

STILLWATER, Okla. — A gunshot rang out at an Oklahoma junior high school before classes began Wednesday, terrifying teenagers who feared a gunman was on the loose.

Soon, though, students learned no one else was in danger. One of their eighth-grade classmates had taken his own life, shooting himself in the head with a handgun in the hall, authorities said.

Staffers quickly locked down the building and evacuated the rest of the school’s 700 eighth- and ninth-graders, along with students from an adjacent elementary school, police Capt. Randy Dickerson said.

Capt. Dickerson said the 13-year-old didn’t leave a note, and authorities said they don’t know why he killed himself. Superintendent Ann Caine, who oversees the district about 70 miles west of Tulsa, said there weren’t any reports that the teen had been bullied.

NORTH DAKOTA

NCAA agreement allows some Sioux logos to stay

BISMARCK — The NCAA has approved a plan that allows most American Indian imagery to remain in the privately owned athletic complex housing University of North Dakota hockey and basketball.

The State Board of Higher Education ordered the university this summer to drop its Fighting Sioux nickname to abide by a 2007 agreement with the NCAA.

That agreement had called for all Sioux logos to be removed from the Ralph Engelstad Arena and the attached Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. But the facilities have thousands of Indian-head logos, including on brass medallions on chairs and a 10-foot sketch in the hockey arena’s granite floor.

The new agreement allows those to stay, though six “Home of the Fighting Sioux” signs must be removed.

University President Robert Kelley says it’s a good resolution.

NEW MEXICO

Police chief’s resignation leaves sniffer dog in charge

VAUGHN — The police chief of the small eastern New Mexico town of Vaughn resigned Wednesday, leaving the town with just one certified member on its police force — a drug-sniffing dog named Nikka.

Dave Romero, attorney for the town, said Wednesday that Police Chief Ernest “Chris” Armijo decided to step down after news stories reported that he wasn’t allowed to carry a gun because of his criminal background.

State officials said Chief Armijo couldn’t carry a gun since acknowledging that he owes tens of thousands of dollars in delinquent child support payments in Texas. He also faces new felony charges after being accused of selling a town-owned rifle and pocketing the cash.

Mr. Romero said Chief Armijo is working to clear up the latest case and has not ruled out seeking the police chief’s position again if his case is resolved and the position is open.

CALIFORNIA

UC agrees to pay $1M to settle pepper-spray suit

SAN FRANCISCO — The University of California has agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit filed by demonstrators who were pepper-sprayed during an Occupy protest at UC Davis last fall, according to a preliminary settlement filed Wednesday.

The Nov. 18, 2011, incident prompted national outrage, angry campus protests and calls for the resignation of Chancellor Linda Katehi after online videos shot by witnesses went viral.

Images of a police officer casually spraying orange pepper-spray in the faces of nonviolent protesters became a rallying symbol for the Occupy Wall Street movement. The demonstrators had been protesting steep tuition hikes and police brutality.

Under the proposed settlement, UC would pay $30,000 to each of 21 plaintiffs named in the complaint and an additional $250,000 for their attorneys to split.

IDAHO

Police on alert ahead of neo-Nazi music festival

BOISE — The mayor’s office is fielding numerous complaints about a neo-Nazi music festival planned for early October, the city’s police department said.

Authorities have been on alert since advertisements for Hammerfest 2012 near Boise surfaced online, said Sgt. Jeff Basterrechea, who is with the police department’s gang intelligence unit. The white supremacist group Hammerskin Nation plans to hold the event Oct. 6, according to the flier circulating online.

The skinhead group is rooted in Texas and has branches in Australia and Canada, according to the SITE Monitoring Service, a private intelligence firm that searches the Internet for extremist activity.

MISSISSIPPI

After complaint, husband allowed to take wife’s name

JACKSON — A Mississippi man has taken his wife’s last name after the ACLU complained he was told by state officials that he would need a court order to do so because it was not traditional.

Robert Everhart, 28, of Pascagoula, born Robert McCarthy, changed his last name on his driver’s license Wednesday by using his marriage certificate, as many women do in taking their husband’s last name.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi sent a letter to Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz on Tuesday, saying the agency was violating state and federal law.

DPS spokesman Warren Strain said Tuesday that Mr. Everhart’s request was unusual, and employees at driver’s license stations were operating under an old practice. He said the employees were informed that men can use marriage certificates to change their names, just like women do.

NEW YORK

Auction offers 125 meteorites for sale, including moon rock

NEW YORK — A New York City auction will offer 125 meteorites for sale, including a large chunk of the moon and a 179-pound iron cosmic rock that evokes Edvard Munch’s iconic painting “The Scream.”

The sale, one of the largest of its kind, is being held by the Dallas-based Heritage Auctions on Oct. 14.

The sale also includes a large piece of the Peekskill meteorite, famous for puncturing a Chevy Malibu in 1992 about 50 miles north of Manhattan, and the largest complete slice of the most famous meteorite in the world, the Willamette, a huge specimen that is housed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

The moon rock has the highest presale estimate of $340,000 to $380,000; less than 0.1 percent of all meteorites recovered are lunar in origin. The 18-inch-tall meteorite dubbed “The Scream” has an estimate of $175,000 to $225,000.

From wire dispatches and staff reports