- The Washington Times - Friday, April 3, 2009


Little Rock schools ruled desegregated

LITTLE ROCK | A federal appeals court Thursday upheld a judge’s ruling that the Little Rock School District has met terms of a long-standing desegregation order.

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ruled unanimously that a lawyer representing a group of black parents and students did not present sufficient evidence to warrant overturning a 2007 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge William R. Wilson Jr. The plaintiffs had challenged the methods used to evaluate the district’s desegregation.

Judge Wilson ruled that the 27,000-student district had substantially complied with a 1998 desegregation plan, noting among other things that blacks had gained a majority on the school board.

Gov. Mike Beebe said Thursday that the ruling could lead to the state ending desegregation payments to Little Rock-area school districts.


Truck in fatal crash used banned roads

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE | The driver of a runaway truck that plowed through an intersection, killing two people and injuring 12 others, had taken a mountain route a short time earlier where big rigs are banned, authorities said Thursday.

Marcos Costa was arrested late Wednesday on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and felony reckless driving. Mr. Costa, 43, was treated for minor injuries and remained jailed Thursday on $200,000 bail.

The car transporter truck that Mr. Costa was driving went out of control as he attempted a sharp turn at a busy intersection during Wednesday afternoon rush hour, smashing into cars and then into a bookstore.

Los Angeles County coroner Lt. Joe Bale identified the dead as Angel Jorge Posca, 58, of Palmdale and his 12-year-old daughter, Angelina Posca. Twelve other people were injured, including three in critical condition.

The truck had come over the San Gabriel Mountains on Angeles Forest Highway, where trucks are banned, Sheriff’s Sgt. John Caffrey said Thursday.


Swiss bank-tied charges filed

MIAMI | Authorities say they’ve charged the first U.S. citizen with hiding assets from tax collectors in the Swiss bank UBS.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said 55-year-old Steven Michael Rubinstein of Boca Raton, Fla., was charged Thursday with filing a false tax return.

Authorities said the yacht company accountant deposited more than $2 million in Krugerrand gold coins into his UBS accounts and bought securities worth more than 4.5 million francs through the accounts.

The Obama administration wants UBS to turn over information on thousands of U.S. customers who concealed their accounts from the government in violation of tax laws. UBS has formally accepted responsibility for helping Americans hide assets and agreed to pay $780 million in fines and restitution.


Capone home put up for sale

CHICAGO | A South Side home that housed mobster Al Capone and his family is being put on the market for $450,000.

Patrice Brazil, the Coldwell Banker agent who is listing the Park Manor neighborhood residence, said that while the price is higher than the $180,000 to $230,000 prices for similar houses in the area, the home is likely to appeal to those interested in its history, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

“I’m looking for people who would be interested in the historical value of this home,” Ms. Brazil said. “It’s an excellent home, and it’s in great shape.”

The two-story brick home, which has had two owners since Capone’s mother died in 1952, has been owned since 1963 by Barbara Hogsette, 71. She said she is selling the house so that she can move to California and be closer to her son.


YouTube posting leads to arson case

WATERVILLE | Police in Maine say seven teens and young adults have been arrested after a video was posted on YouTube.com that showed them setting off Molotov cocktails inside a vacated building and then rolled credits naming those involved.

Waterville police said the suspects, ages 14 to 20, broke into in a former Boys and Girls Club through a window.

Police seized the YouTube video showing the group making and throwing the devices, which exploded and caused flames as high as 20 feet.

Police say the video, which has since been taken off the video-sharing Web site, showed the faces of the suspects and text naming those pictured. Each is charged with arson and burglary.


Hepatitis outbreak tied to doctor

TOMS RIVER | New Jersey officials are advising nearly 3,000 people who share a doctor to get tested after an outbreak of hepatitis B.

A lawyer for Dr. Parvez Dar said Thursday that there’s no proof all five got the disease from the oncologist’s office in Toms River. Attorney Robert Conroy said the five cancer patients also were seen at the same hospital.

But state health department spokeswoman said investigators found that the only common thread was Dr. Dar’s office. The state Board of Medical Examiners is set to hold a hearing Friday to determine whether to suspend his license.


Police: Mom set up girl to get pregnant

PITTSBURGH | A western Pennsylvania mother has been charged with giving her 13-year-old daughter drugs and alcohol so that the woman’s boyfriend could get the girl pregnant, police said Thursday.

Shana Brown, 32, is no longer able to have children but wanted to have a baby with her boyfriend, Duane Calloway, said Uniontown police Detective Donald Gmitter. The pair decided to drug the girl so that Mr. Calloway, 40, could have sex with her without her knowledge, he added.

“There’s some sick people on this case,” Detective Gmitter said.

Miss Brown has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, turned herself in Thursday and was being held in the Fayette County jail. Mr. Calloway faces several counts of attempted rape. He was arrested Wednesday and remains in jail.

According to police accounts, the daughter shook off all three drugging attempts and escaped before any rape occurred.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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