American Scene: Criminal cases made AG hand over NCAA suit
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s attorney general said she granted Gov. Tom Corbett the authority to file a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA because the litigation could present a conflict of interest as her office prosecutes three Penn State administrators.
Attorney General Linda Kelly told The Associated Press on Thursday that “an actual conflict of interest could, and likely would, arise if this office were involved in both cases.”
Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley face endangering the welfare of children, obstruction, conspiracy, failure to report suspected child abuse and perjury charges for allegedly covering up complaints and suspicions about Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator who was convicted last summer of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including attacks inside campus facilities.
County: Releasing gun names endangers public
NEW YORK — A New York county clerk justified his refusal to release the names and addresses of handgun permit holders to a newspaper, saying it would give stalkers and thieves a convenient road map to target potential victims — and determine whether they have a gun.
“This certainly puts my public in danger,” Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant said Thursday after a news conference in which he was backed by the county executive and other elected officials.
The Journal News, which serves New York City’s northern suburbs, sparked an outcry last month when it published clickable online maps with the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in Rockland and Westchester counties.
When the newspaper requested the same information from Putnam, Mr. Sant initially said the county needed more time to fulfill the request. Mr. Sant balked entirely this week, saying the law gives him the prerogative to refuse to release public information if it endangers the public. Judges and police officers could be targeted by the people they put behind bars, he said. People with orders of protection have expressed concern to him about would-be attackers finding them through the database.
Report: Employee allegedly showed gunman’s body
HARTFORD — An employee at Connecticut’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has been placed on administrative leave over an allegation she let her husband view the body of the man who killed 26 people at a school.
A state employee with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press on Thursday that Jean Henry is accused of showing Adam Lanza’s body to her husband on Dec. 16, two days after the shooting. The employee spoke on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry is under way.
Gov. Dan Malloy says he would be “deeply disappointed” if the allegation is true.
A University of Connecticut Health Center spokesman confirmed Mrs. Henry was put on administrative leave Dec. 21. The center handles personnel matters for the medical examiner’s lab.
School stops musical with Elvis songs as racy
WEST JORDAN — A parent who was “All Shook Up” about Elvis Presley songs in a high-school drama prompted educators to cancel the production, deeming it too sexually suggestive.
Presley warbles over a sweetheart whose “lips are like a volcano that’s hot” in his 1957 song. “I’m proud to say she’s my buttercup. I’m in love. I’m all shook up.”
Presley’s song lyrics and a scene suggesting cross-dressing were deemed offensive by school administrators in a Salt Lake City suburb.
Rehearsals for “All Shook Up” were canceled before the play was made ready for production at Herriman High School, said Sandy Riesgraf, spokeswoman for the Jordan School District.
The American jukebox musical borrows from Presley’s songbook and puts a modern twist on William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”
Formal charges filed in girl’s death
LITTLE ROCK — A prosecutor filed formal charges this week against an Arkansas man accused of raping and killing his 6-year-old neighbor who had been a victim in a prior abuse case.
Prosecutor Van Stone filed paperwork Wednesday charging Zachary Holly, 28, with capital murder, kidnapping, rape and residential burglary in the disappearance and death of 6-year-old Jersey Bridgeman.
The formal charges come days before Mr. Holly is due in court Monday for an arraignment.
Authorities arrested Mr. Holly several days after Jersey was found dead on Nov. 20 in a vacant home next to Mr. Holly’s in Bentonville.
6th man pleads guilty in attacks on blacks
JACKSON — A sixth man has pleaded guilty in connection with racially motivated attacks by young whites against blacks in Jackson.
Joseph Paul Dominick, 21, of Brandon pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit a hate crime. He faces up to five years in prison. U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves will sentence him later.
Prosecutors say that starting about April 2011, the group drove from mostly white Rankin County into the city of Jackson, where they verbally harassed and physically assaulted blacks and later boasted about the attacks.
The attacks culminated in the death of James Craig Anderson in June 2011, which sparked the investigation. Prosecutors say Dominick did not participate in the slaying but was part of other group attacks.
Teens rescued from tree after lake ice cracks
PHOENIX — A firefighter in a waterproof suit crossed a partially frozen Arizona lake to help rescue two teenagers who spent at least two frigid hours hanging onto a dead tree after ice began to crack, authorities said Thursday.
A third teen who had stayed on the snow-covered bank of Fool Hollow Lake near Show Low called for help Wednesday while the other two clung to the tree, authorities said.
Emergency personnel retrieved the boys after firefighter Jack Gessner made his way across the lake with a rope attached to a boat carrying other rescuers.
Mr. Gessner said he initially crawled atop the ice then had to make his way through the water after he had covered half of the 200 feet and the ice broke.
Mr. Gessner said the boys didn’t seem to be panicking, and they were OK as he swam by the tree to reach the shore and get a foothold to hold the rope.
The boys were taken to a hospital for treatment of mild hypothermia.
From wire dispatches and staff reports