- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 17, 2006

Third person arrested in school shooting plot

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Police have arrested a third person in a foiled Columbine-style plan to bomb and shoot students at a high school, investigators said yesterday.

William C. Cornell and Shawn R. Sturtz, both 17, were arrested Thursday on charges of suspicion of conspiracy to commit first-degree intentional homicide and conspiracy to commit arson in connection with the purported plot.

Bradley P. Netwel, 18, was arrested Friday on charges of conspiracy to commit homicide and conspiracy to commit arson, according to police.

Police learned from interviews that Mr. Netwel, a former student at the school and a friend of the 17-year-olds, participated in the planning, police said.

Senators reach deal on FEMA

Senators have agreed on a compromise to restructure and expand the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), restoring some of its responsibilities.

The FEMA director would have direct access to the president in a crisis, but the agency would remain a part of the Homeland Security Department. The compromise will be included in a budget bill Congress is scheduled to vote on this month.

Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, who heads the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, worked out the compromise late Friday with Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, the panel’s top Democrat.

The plan, which now goes to House-Senate negotiators, includes stricter requirements for who can serve as FEMA director.

The director would double as the president’s chief adviser for emergency management and gain Cabinet-level status during a major disaster.

Guard in Big Easy through December

NEW ORLEANS — National Guard troops and state police will patrol the city through December, Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said yesterday.

“Crime has no role in recovery,” Mrs. Blanco said during a summit of law-enforcement officials and crime specialists called to address a spate of killings marring the recovery from Hurricane Katrina. “It limits our ability to recover.”

The summit opened hours after an early morning killing brought the city’s homicide count for the year to 100.

Police probe shooting threats

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Police warned Las Cruces residents that they’ve received two letters threatening random shootings if city leaders fail to hand over a “substantial” ransom.

Police had received some information from the public yesterday, but there had been no break in the case, Lt. Randy Lara said.

The city received the second of two threatening letters Friday, but police remained tight-lipped about details of the demand, including how much money was involved. They did say the demand called for a “substantial amount.”

At a press conference late Friday, Lt. Lara said he didn’t want to alarm residents, but he urged them to watch for any suspicious activity.

“The letter did reference that Las Cruces residents will be shot at random if the city didn’t comply with the extortion,” he said.

Church ordered to hand over papers

LOS ANGELES — The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ordered a prominent liberal church to turn over documents and e-mails it produced during the 2004 election year that contain references to political candidates.

The IRS is investigating whether All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena violated the federal tax code when its former rector, the Rev. George F. Regas, delivered an anti-war sermon on the eve of the latest presidential election.

Tax-exempt organizations are barred from intervening in political campaigns and elections, and the church could lose its tax-exempt status.

The Rev. Ed Bacon received a summons Thursday ordering the church to present any politically charged sermons, newsletters and electronic communications by Sept. 29.

Mr. Bacon was ordered to testify before IRS officials on Oct. 11. He said he will inform his approximately 3,500 congregants about the investigation at services today and will seek their advice on whether to comply.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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