- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 9, 2008

Release possible for Hudson suspect

CHICAGO | The convicted felon suspected in the killings of the mother, brother and nephew of singer Jennifer Hudson has a parole hearing Monday and could be released if an administrative officer finds no reason to hold him.

No one has been charged in the shootings, but authorities have called William Balfour, 27, a “person of interest.” Balfour is in custody on a parole violation. He is the estranged husband of Julia Hudson, sister of the singer and actress.

The chairman of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, Jorge Montes, says that if an administrative officer finds cause to continue holding Balfour, the case then would go to a review board for a hearing.

Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said the investigation is continuing and is independent of the prisoner review board’s decisions.

Franken wins fight on batch of ballots

ST. PAUL, Minn. | Sen. Norm Coleman has failed in an attempt to block some absentee ballots from being counted in his close race with Democrat Al Franken.

A Ramsey County judge Saturday denied the request because of lack of jurisdiction. The incumbent Republican had tried to block 32 ballots from heavily Democratic Hennepin County.

Mr. Coleman’s campaign says the ballots were not counted on Election Day or were not kept in sealed boxes. It says the request was made amid “increasing questions about unexplained and improbable shifts in vote counts.”

The most recent vote tally has Mr. Coleman leading Mr. Franken by only a few hundred votes. A recount is planned.

Town elects transsexual mayor

SILVERTON, Ore. | Plenty of politicians reinvent themselves, but few do it quite like Mayor-elect Stu Rasmussen.

Mr. Rasmussen has been a fixture in Silverton politics for more than 20 years, and had twice before been mayor of the small city 45 miles south of Portland. Those terms, however, were before his breast implants and before the once-discreet cross-dresser started wearing dresses and 3-inch heels in public.

Silverton has made Mr. Rasmussen the country’s first openly transsexual mayor, according to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. Mr. Rasmussen, 60, unseated the incumbent mayor, Ken Hector, with whom he had long clashed, by 1,988 votes to 1,512.

Because Mr. Rasmussen’s appearance was no secret, the campaign was dominated by policy issues.

“I’ve blackmail-proofed myself,” he said in his decidedly masculine voice.

“I am a dude,” he said. “I am a heterosexual male who appears to be a female.”

Gas-station robber leaves loot behind

AURORA, Ind. | Police say they are looking for a man who held up a Swifty gas station only to forget to take the money with him.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Saturday that police said the robber was “no brain surgeon.”

Police say the man robbed the store early Monday, tied up the female clerk and then ran out the door with a carton of cigarettes. After the man realized that he had forgotten the bag of money, he tried to go back inside the store but couldn’t because the door was equipped with an electronic lock.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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