Police task force to try to curb violence
CINCINNATI — A special team of police officers has been appointed to crack down on violence that has plagued Cincinnati since rioting in the wake of an April shooting of an unarmed black man by police.
Shootings have increased 600 percent since a year ago, and the city this year has had 27 homicides, including four since Monday. That number is up from 18 at this time last year.
The 70 members of the Violent Crime Task Force planned to go after the city’s 42 most wanted fugitives, starting yesterday.
Violence has escalated since a white officer fatally shot Timothy Thomas, 19, who was fleeing police. Officer Stephen Roach was indicted. Police officers have since said they fear prosecution and have been curbing self-initiated police work.
Official says votes wrongly allowed
ST. LOUIS — Court orders improperly allowed 1,233 persons to vote in the St. Louis area last fall — including some who cast ballots on behalf of dead people, a state official said yesterday.
In releasing his 47-page report on the city’s election woes, Secretary of State Matt Blunt said the 1,233 allowed to vote in the city and St. Louis County gave reasons that didn’t satisfy requirements of Missouri law.
Most of the improper orders were granted to people who had failed to register by the Oct. 11 deadline.
Sex offenders freed after parole terms ruling
DENVER — Forty-three sex offenders were released from prison following a Colorado Supreme Court decision saying their parole sentences were illegal.
The convicts, including child molesters and rapists, each were given $100 and their own clothes on Tuesday. They had 72 hours to register as sex offenders.
The court ruled last year that lawmakers had committed a series of mistakes that nullified a state law requiring mandatory parole for sex offenders who had committed their crimes from 1993 to 1998. The court said the offenders’ parole terms should be stopped, and that anyone locked up for violating the terms should be released because the parole was improperly imposed.
Priest dismissed after marrying secretary
NEW YORK — A pastor of a Roman Catholic Church was dismissed after it was learned that he married his secretary, a diocese spokesman said.
The Rev. Timothy Pesak, pastor of St. Adalbert Roman Catholic Church in Queens for the past 10 years, was suspended last month and dismissed July 13, said Frank DeRosa, a spokesman for the Diocese of Brooklyn.
“After he married, he continued to perform his priest functions, including celebrating Mass and presiding over a funeral Mass,” Mr. DeRosa said. “We’re just in shock and terribly disappointed.”
‘Niagara’ bottler agrees to name change
LITTLE ROCK — Suppliers of Niagara, a drink marketed as “Viagra for women,” have agreed to change the name of the blue liquid they advertise as an aphrodisiac.
Under an agreement approved Tuesday, Little Rock distributor Lari Williams and others associated with Niagara will change the name of their product to “Nexcite” to ensure it won’t be confused with Viagra.
Pfizer Inc. of New York sued Mrs. Williams and others in April after Niagara was promoted as an energy drink that could put people in the mood for love. Pfizer said the name of Mrs. Williams’ product, its color and its advertised effect infringed on the Viagra trademark.