- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 22, 2009

CALIFORNIA

Records: 14 died under county watch

LOS ANGELES | Nearly half of the Los Angeles County children who died last year from abuse and neglect were from families under the watch of child-welfare officials, records show.

The heavily redacted records, released Monday after a California Public Records Act request by the Los Angeles Times, include previously confidential medical records, family services documents and police reports.

They show that the families of 14 of the 32 children who died in the county in 2008 from abuse and neglect - including physical assault and malnourishment - were under the scrutiny of Children and Family Services and should have been known to social workers.

Ten of those cases are under investigation and could result in disciplinary action.

CONNECTICUT

Pageant queen’s events suspended

HARTFORD | The reigning Miss Connecticut Outstanding Teen continues to hold her title, but she has been suspended from pageant-related activities because of a party at her home in February where teens were cited with underage drinking.

The Miss Connecticut Scholarship Corp. put the reign of Rachael Ramonas, 17, on hold after the party, at which 24 teens were cited.

Authorities are not releasing the names of the teens because they are juveniles. It’s not clear whether Miss Ramonas was among those issued a ticket.

The party was held Feb. 21 at Miss Ramonas’ home in Wolcott.

FLORIDA

Criminal probe of dead horses starts

WELLINGTON | Florida authorities have begun a criminal investigation into the deaths of 21 polo horses from a Venezuelan-owned team preparing to play a match over the weekend.

Some of the horses collapsed and died Sunday as they were unloaded from trailers at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington. Others died later at clinics and stables.

The state’s Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that it was conducting the criminal probe with the help of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. A department spokesman said they are working to determine whether the deaths were intentional.

The horses were from Lechuza Polo, a favorite to win the title at what’s described as the “World Series” of the sport.

MASSACHUSETTS

Not-guilty plea in ammunition case

BOSTON | A U.S. Marine pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he had bomb-making materials, a gun and ammunition in his baggage at a Boston airport.

Cpl. Justin Reed of Jacksonville, N.C., was freed on $2,500 bail after entering his plea to charges of possession of an infernal machine and possession of a concealed weapon at an airport during his arraignment in East Boston District Court.

Cpl. Reed, 22, was arrested during a layover at Logan International Airport on Sunday morning after federal screeners found the items in his baggage.

NEW YORK

Cops: Mom ordered girls out, drove off

WHITE PLAINS | Usually, it’s an empty threat: “If you kids don’t stop fighting, I’m going to stop this car right now and leave you here!”

But a mother from an upper-crust New York suburb went through with it, ordering her battling 10- and 12-year-old daughters out of her car in White Plains’ business district and driving off, police said Tuesday.

Madlyn Primoff, 45, a partner in a Manhattan law firm, pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge of endangering a child. A temporary order of protection was issued, barring her from contact with the children, who were physically unharmed.

TEXAS

Body found in search for girl

HOUSTON | Searchers think they’ve found the body of a 4-year-old girl who drowned with four other children in a Houston car wreck.

Police spokesman Kese Smith said the body found Tuesday along Greens Bayou appeared to be that of Hallie Jenkins.

Mr. Smith said the body hasn’t been formally identified and he doesn’t know when a positive identification is expected.

Hallie’s father, Chanton B. Jenkins, was charged Sunday with four counts of intoxication manslaughter in the Saturday crash. Police said he was talking on his cell phone when he lost control of the car, plunging it into a rain-filled ditch.

Mr. Jenkins, another adult passenger and a 10-year-old child survived. None of the children wore seat belts.

WASHINGTON

Police: Shoplifters flee with diapers

SPOKANE | Authorities in Washington state said a couple were so determined to make off with merchandise without paying that a security guard who tried to stop them got punched.

The loot that was so important to the couple was a package of disposable diapers - worth $18.

Spokane County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Reagan said a security guard tried to stop the pair as they walked out of a Safeway on Saturday with the diapers in their cart.

Sgt. Reagan said the man yelled “sorry” and then punched the guard in the face. The guard grabbed the man’s shirt, but it ripped and the man was able to run away.

Sgt. Reagan said while that was going on, the woman made it to her SUV with the diapers and drove off.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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