- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Sect leader and wife indicted in murder

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. The leader of a fundamentalist sect was indicted on murder charges yesterday along with his wife in the death of their infant son, whom authorities believe died of starvation. A third member of the sect was charged as an accessory.

Jacques Robidoux is charged with first-degree murder in "directing the systematic withholding of nourishment" for his 10-month-old son, Samuel.

Karen Robidoux, the baby's mother, was charged with second-degree murder.

And Jacques Robidoux's sister, Michelle Mingo was charged as an accessory before the fact to assault and battery on a child.

The indictments come less than a week after sect member David Corneau testified before a grand jury investigating the deaths of his son and Samuel. Prosecutors believe that Samuel starved to death and that Mr. Corneau's child was stillborn.

Members of the Attleboro-based sect do not subscribe to traditional medicine.

Wild Atlantic salmon listed as endangered

BOSTON The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed wild Atlantic salmon as an endangered species yesterday despite objections from the governor of Maine, who sees the action as a threat to two other industries.

The listing puts restrictions on Maine's aquaculture industry as well as the production of blueberries, a product almost as famous as the state's lobsters. As a result, Maine Gov. Angus King fears people will lose their jobs.

Listing the wild Atlantic salmon "severely regulates the irrigation use of the rivers" where the fish spawn, reducing the amount of water available for the blueberry growers, explained John Ripley, a spokesman for Mr. King.

The listing also means new rules and regulations will go into effect restricting the types of salmon that Maine's aquaculture farms are allowed to raise.

Maine launched its own plan to save the species in the mid-1990s, and federal officials conceded the state has made significant progress. But "disease and other threats remain," said Jamie Rappaport Clark, head of the Wildlife Service, in a statement.

IRS has $67 million waiting to be claimed

More than $67 million in tax refunds remain to be claimed by some 91,000 taxpayers, Internal Revenue Service officials said yesterday.

"There's a ton of money sitting around," IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti said. "We want to get these refund checks back to where they belong."

The Internal Revenue Service said some checks get returned because people move, or because taxpayers provide inaccurate addresses. Deaths and marriages are also frequent reasons why a refund doesn't find its proper way.

"Life gets busy and some people can overlook or forget about a refund check," Mr. Rossotti said.

An annual review found that 91,823 tax refunds worth $67.4 million were returned to the IRS with an average of $734 per check. Last year, the figure was $72 million.

People who think they may be owed a refund can contact the IRS toll-free at 1-800/829-1040.

College student dies after binge on scotch

ANN ARBOR, Mich. A University of Michigan engineering student died yesterday after celebrating his 21st birthday with 20 shots of scotch in 10 minutes, police said.

Byung Soo Kim was blue and unconscious when found early Saturday. He died at a hospital, where he had been admitted with a blood-alcohol level of 0.39 percent, nearly four times the legal limit for driving, police said.

Eleven friends had gathered in an apartment building Friday night to celebrate his birthday. Police said Mr. Kim was trying to down a shot for every year of his life but passed out after the 20th drink.

Friends told investigators they put him in the back bedroom, and, when they checked on him an hour later, they discovered he was not breathing.

"If he was 20, there would be a lot more to investigate," Sgt. Michael Logghe said. "Since he's 21 and allegedly made the purchase legally himself, there's no crime in what occurred."

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