ALASKA Hunter attacked by grizzly bear
WASILLA — A hunter attacked by a grizzly bear on a remote trail said he used duct tape to bind his bite wounds, then rode an all-terrain vehicle to his pickup truck and drove himself to a hospital. Bill Murphy said the Sept. 17 attack happened after he surprised a grizzly cub and its mother on a trail about 50 miles northeast of Anchorage, where he was hunting. Mr. Murphy grabbed his rifle, but before he could raise it, the mother bear pinned him face down. She then clamped her jaws around his right shoulder and started shaking him like a rag.
FLORIDA Storm weakens as it heads north
MIAMI — Hurricane Juan headed for landfall in eastern Canada yesterday with 100 mph wind and storm-surge flooding of about 3 feet was expected along parts of the coast of Nova Scotia, forecasters said. Canadian officials issued rain and wind warnings for Nova Scotia. “Weakening is expected as the hurricane moves over colder waters this afternoon, but Juan is still expected to bring hurricane conditions to portions of Nova Scotia,” said hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The fifth hurricane of the Atlantic season was centered 360 miles south of Halifax.
INDIANA Five persons found shot to death
GARY — A 20-year-old man with a history of mental illness fatally shot four family members over the weekend before turning the gun on himself, investigators said. The man’s 82-year-old grandmother, who survived, called police to report the shooting. Authorities said the body of gunman Terry Dennie was found next to a pistol. Police said that Mr. Dennie had a history of mental problems, and that a SWAT team was sent to the home a year ago after he threatened to kill himself. The other four dead were Mr. Dennie’s mother, a brother, a sister and a 2-year-old nephew. Elizabeth Walton, his grandmother, was being treated for gunshot wounds.
KANSAS State fears loss of Internet taxes
LAWRENCE — The state says it could lose nearly $100 million a year if Congress passes a bill banning state and local governments from taxing Internet access. State officials said the bill could eventually exempt the telecommunications industry from state and local taxes as those companies start using Internet technology to deliver their services.
KENTUCKY Ban on smoking temporarily halted
LEXINGTON — At the request of city bar and restaurant owners, an appeals court last week temporarily blocked an ordinance barring smoking in most public places. A three-judge state appeals panel said a judge considering a lawsuit filed by the business owners acknowledged the law could cause them “irreparable injury,” yet refused to block it while he heard the case. The appeals court decided “it is equitable and judicious to preserve the … status quo” until the lawsuit is resolved. The ban was approved by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council in July.
MINNESOTA High court OKs boat searches
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled last week that game wardens can search boats without the consent of the owner or probable cause to suspect illegal activity. The court put the protection of natural resources ahead of fishermen’s expectations of privacy. Fishing boats should not have the same Fourth Amendment protections against searches as homes or even cars because “fishing is a largely recreational privilege that anglers choose to engage in with knowledge of the regulations governing their conduct,” Justice James Gilbert said. The case involved John Colosimo, who would not let a game warden inspect his boat in northern Minnesota. His misdemeanor conviction for refusing an inspection, overturned by an appeals court, was reinstated by the Supreme Court.
MISSISSIPPI Justice accused of violent threat
JACKSON — A judicial review board has launched an inquiry into allegations against a state Supreme Court justice, including claims that he threatened to “whip” the chief justice and intentionally delayed cases as payback before his term on the court ends. Justice Chuck McRae yesterday said the complaint was “much ado about nothing” and called it a strong-arm tactic by the five high-court justices who made the charges, including Chief Justice Edwin Pittman. The complaint charges that since his election defeat in November 2002, Justice McRae has “set about to deliberately and maliciously bring dishonor to the Supreme Court.” It says the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance launched an inquiry after Chief Justice Pittman and Justices James Smith, William Waller, Kay Cobb and George Carlson said Justice McRae told them he intended to make the remainder of his term as difficult as possible for the others.
NEVADA Biker gang sues over deadly brawl
LAS VEGAS — Nine members of the Mongols motorcycle gang are suing Harrah’s Entertainment, claiming the company’s hotel-casino in southern Nevada failed to provide adequate security during a biker rally last year that erupted in violence. Two Hells Angels and one Mongols motorcycle gang members died and at least 12 persons were injured during a brawl involving guns and knives inside Harrah’s casino. In the federal suit filed last week, the Mongols are seeking unspecified damages for injuries suffered during the melee and for “anguish, despair and emotional distress.”
NEW JERSEY Ticketed motorists offered amnesty
TRENTON — Motor vehicle officials launched an amnesty campaign for drivers who owe ticket surcharges. Penalties for late payment will be forgiven for motorists who pay by Oct. 31. More than 245,000 drivers are eligible for the program. Motorists ticketed for certain moving violations are required to pay surcharges under a law enacted in 1984.
SOUTH CAROLINA Blacks oppose honoring sub crew
COLUMBIA — A proposal to have the bodies of eight Confederate sailors lie in state in the Capitol has drawn criticism from black legislators. The sailors’ remains were recovered when the submarine H.L. Hunley was brought up in 2000 from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, where it sank shortly after downing the Union blockade ship Housatonic in 1864. The Hunley was the first submarine to sink an enemy ship.
WASHINGTON Jesus brick prompts lawsuit
SEATTLE — A couple who purchased an inscribed brick for a state playground are suing because the words “Thank you Jesus” were not included as they had wished. Residents had organized an effort to build a playground at Saint Edward State Park. Money for the project was raised in part by the sale of inscribed bricks to be displayed for $100. Dan and Olga Buchanan ordered one with a message from their children: “Thank you Jesus, Daria & Evan Buchanan.” But when they saw their brick in the playground’s walkway, it read only, “Daria & Evan Buchanan.” Last week, the American Center for Law and Justice filed a lawsuit claiming the omission violates free-speech rights.