- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 1, 2005

Connecticut gives gay couples licenses

HARTFORD, Conn. — After receiving their civil union license yesterday, Lidia Agramonte and Maria Gomez had all the same rights as a married couple in Connecticut.

The women were first in line at Hartford City Hall as a new law allowing same-sex civil unions took effect.

The day passed with few reports of protests, except for a rally at the Capitol sponsored by the Family Institute of Connecticut.

N.Y. man charged in girlfriend’s murder

NEW YORK — A Queens man was charged yesterday with murdering his live-in girlfriend, a week after the woman’s 4-year-old daughter was found walking down a city street alone in the middle of the night, police said.

Cesar Ascarrunz, 32, was arrested on murder charges while authorities continued to search for 26-year-old Monica Lozada’s remains, police said.

Mr. Ascarrunz also was charged with reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child, child abandonment and evidence tampering, said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

Man pleads no contest to hiding dead mother

LA CROSSE, Wis. — A recluse accused of stuffing his dead mother in a freezer and shooting at neighbors who came to his door pleaded no contest in a deal with prosecutors.

Philip Schuth, 52, entered the plea Friday to charges of hiding a corpse, recklessly endangering safety and second-degree attempted homicide. Prosecutor Scott Horne said he will recommend an eight-year prison sentence.

During negotiations with police, Schuth said he had his dead mother in a freezer in his basement. Schuth told investigators she died of natural causes in August 2000 and an autopsy later confirmed his story.

Birthday card upsets Topeka mayor

TOPEKA, Kan. — Don’t send Mayor Bill Bunten this birthday card. He won’t be amused.

The birthday card produced by Hallmark bears the title “CSI: Topeka” and features a cartoon of two persons standing over a corpse, with one saying, “Looks like he was bored to death.”

Inside the card is the message, “Hope your birthday is anything but dull.”

Though a company spokeswoman says Hallmark didn’t intend to offend anyone, the mayor wasn’t laughing when he learned about it.

“I find it offensive,” Mr. Bunten told the Topeka Capital-Journal.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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