- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 4, 2009

Inmates riot at Idaho prison

BOISE, Idaho | More than 100 inmates broke control-room windows, overturned furniture and started a small fire in a temporary housing block at a medium-security state prison.

The disturbance at the 34-year-old Idaho State Correctional Institution began before midnight Friday and was under control by about 1 a.m. Saturday, the Idaho Department of Correction said.

Four inmates suffered minor injuries, including one man who needed stitches for cuts on his head. No staff members were hurt.

The disturbance took place in a temporary housing block that had just opened Friday as part of efforts to trim costs during a state budget crisis.

A group of 199 inmates, mostly parole violators, had been moved into the temporary quarters in a converted work building to help make room for 300 inmates whom prison chief Brent Reinke wants to bring home from private facilities in Texas.

Charges filed in hazing death

LOGAN, Utah | A fraternity and a sorority at Utah State University were charged with felony hazing after an 18-year-old freshman pledge died of alcohol poisoning.

The school’s chapters of the Sigma Nu fraternity and Chi Omega sorority were each charged Friday with one count of third-degree felony hazing for their involvement in the death of Michael Starks.

Prosecutors also filed misdemeanor hazing charges against 12 students, including the chapter president of Sigma Nu. The students face a year in jail if convicted, while punishment for the chapters is unclear.

Mr. Starks, of Salt Lake City, was found not breathing at the Sigma Nu residence and pronounced dead at a hospital after paramedics couldn’t revive him. His blood alcohol content was higher than 0.35 percent, more than four times the legal limit to drive an automobile, authorities said.

IRS sends 5-cent bill, 4-cent refund

DETROIT | James Howarth is a little confused by two letters he has received from the Internal Revenue Service.

The Detroit defense lawyer received one letter in November that said he owed the IRS money — 5 cents. He was warned that he should pay “to avoid additional penalty and/or interest,” the Detroit Free Press reported Saturday.

Mr. Howarth said he then received a second letter telling him the government owes him money — 4 cents. He was told he would have to request the refund since it’s less than $1.

“When I owe them a nickel, I must pay them. It’s not optional,” he said. “But when they owe me, I have to ask for it.”

Mr. Howarth said he’s not sure whether there is a connection between the two notices, or if the refund represents a recalculation of the original bill. The perplexed lawyer said he called an IRS 800 telephone number but gave up after spending a long time on hold.

IRS spokesman Luis D. Garcia said the agency doesn’t comment on individual accounts.

13 cars jump track in train derailment

MILTON, Fla. | A CSX freight train carrying petroleum, wine and fruit has derailed on the Florida Panhandle amid heavy fog.

A spokeswoman for Santa Rosa County in the far western part of the Panhandle says about 150 to 200 gallons of petroleum leaked from one tanker.

Spokeswoman Joy Tsubooka said no injuries had been reported from the 6:20 a.m. derailment and no evacuations were planned.

She said 13 cars jumped the track. A tanker carrying carbon dioxide did not pose a threat. Another car was carrying fruit and wine.

YouTube video aids fight probe

AKRON, Ohio | Investigators say they have YouTube.com to thank for arrests in connection with a large disturbance.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office said Friday it had arrested two people and issued warrants for three others in the fight at Twinsburg Township outside Akron.

Sheriff’s patrol commander Maj. Roger Kline said people were already leaving the scene when police arrived at the disturbance in October. But then police got a tip that someone had posted a 5-minute, 16-second video of the fight on the YouTube video-sharing Web service.

Police said they were able to identify suspects after watching the video and conferring with Twinsburg High School teachers and administrators.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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