Killer takes journalist as hostage in interview
DANNEMORA, N.Y. A freelance TV producer was held hostage at a state prison for more than four hours yesterday by an inmate convicted of killing a New York City millionaire.
Kenneth Kimes, 25, held a pen to the throat of Maria Zone, and ordered her camera crew, filming for Court TV, to “back off,” said Department of Correctional Services spokesman James Flateau.
An officer observing the interview called for help, and prison negotiators spoke with Kimes until he released the woman, Mr. Flateau said.
He said she did not appear to be injured.
Kimes is serving a 125-year sentence at Clinton Correctional Facility. He and his mother were convicted of killing Irene Silverman, 82, in a scheme to steal her $7 million Manhattan home.
Stray pin on shuttle forces launch delay
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. NASA was forced to call off last night’s planned launch of space shuttle Discovery because of a small metal pin found on a fuel line a few hours before liftoff.
The 4-inch pin was discovered after the astronauts had boarded Discovery and the countdown had begun for NASA’s 100th space shuttle launch. Workers conducting a routine inspection of the shuttle saw the pin on the liquid-oxygen line between Discovery and its external fuel tank.
Engineers feared the pin could blow into Discovery during liftoff and possibly damage the shuttle. Launch director Mike Leinbach said another launch attempt would be made tonight if the pin can be removed.
Watergate figure has rights restored
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Florida has quietly restored the civil rights of Charles Colson more than 25 years after he was convicted of trying to cover up the Watergate scandal.
Mr. Colson, 68, regained, among other things, the right to vote, serve on jury, run for office and practice law.
The former special counsel to President Nixon served seven months in federal prison for obstruction of justice.
“He certainly has served his time,” Republican Gov. Jeb Bush said yesterday upon issuing the executive order. “The crime that he committed was a serious one, but I think it’s time to move on.”
Man accused of rape at teen sleepover
TAUNTON, Mass. A man pretended to be a 17-year-old to get into a coed slumber party, then lured a 14-year-old girl into a bowling alley bathroom and raped her, police said.
Joshua J. Cruz, 19, was arrested early Monday. He pleaded not guilty to rape and other charges and was ordered held on $10,000 bail.
Police said Mr. Cruz was discovered by an adult supervisor with the girl in the men’s restroom at the bowling alley. Another girl was with them.
Court upholds gun initiative
DENVER A state Supreme Court ruling yesterday cleared the way for a ballot question that will allow voters to decide whether background checks should be mandatory for all gun buyers at gun shows.
Opponents of the measure asked the court to keep it off the Nov. 7 ballot, arguing that organizers shouldn’t have begun circulating petitions until the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the initiative’s wording.
But the court ruled that it was legal to count signatures of registered voters even if the proposed initiative was under appeal.
Graffiti artists arrested at exhibition
NEW YORK Two New York artists setting up an exhibit of graffiti-inspired works were arrested on graffiti charges.
Todd James, 29, was taken into custody Oct. 2 in Manhattan’s Soho district across the street from the gallery that was to show his work. Josh Lazcano, 25, was arrested inside two days later.
“These individuals have been long known to the police department, and they have a history of damaging property,” said police spokeswoman June Martucci. “It has nothing to do with the show.”
Mr. James was charged with defacing a school building in 1999, and Mr. Lazcano was charged with spray-painting a building in 1997.