- - Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Governor warns of more layoffs

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has told state employee unions his administration is preparing to cut another 2,000 state jobs to deal with California’s $26.3 billion budget deficit.

The Department of Personnel Administration informed the unions of the potential cuts during a conference call Tuesday.

The administration has sent layoff notices to 33,000 state employees, but it’s not clear how many workers have actually been laid off because many were able to move into special-fund posts that weren’t covered by the layoffs.

Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has also proposed a 5 percent pay cut for state workers that would have to be agreed on as part of budget negotiations.


Shuttle launch set for Wednesday

CAPE CANAVERAL — NASA is hoping the weather finally cooperates for its sixth launch attempt for Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Endeavour is poised to take off for the International Space Station early Wednesday evening, along with seven astronauts. Forecasters put the odds of good weather at 60 percent.

Thunderstorms have delayed the mission three times and hydrogen gas leaks have caused two delays. Endeavour holds the final piece of Japan’s space lab, which should have flown last month.

NASA must launch Endeavour by Wednesday, possibly Thursday if managers agree to shorten the flight. Otherwise, the shuttle will have to step aside for a Russian supply run to the space station. That would bump the shuttle launch to July 26.


Art gallery owner faces new charges

NEW YORK — The owner of a closed Manhattan art gallery has been charged with stealing $5 million from several estates, including that of American abstract expressionist painter Robert DeNiro Sr.

Mr. DeNiro died in 1993 and is the father of the famed actor.

Lawrence B. Salander, 60, and Salander-O’Reilly Galleries LLC were charged in a new indictment Tuesday with grand larceny and falsifying business records.

The estates had given the gallery art works for exhibition and sale.

In March, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau indicted Mr. Salander on similar charges. He was accused of defrauding art owners and investors, including tennis great John McEnroe, of $88 million.


Madoff starts 150-year sentence

BUTNER — The disgraced financier blamed for what is thought to be the largest Ponzi scheme in history arrived Tuesday at a federal prison in North Carolina to begin a 150-year sentence in a cell with two bunk beds, a toilet and a sink.

Bernard Madoff, also known now as prisoner number 61727-054, arrived somewhat under cover at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex about 45 miles northwest of Raleigh. Onlookers said a bus backed into the entrance, then a sport utility vehicle pulled in front of it, blocking photographers and TV cameras trying to get a glimpse.

A prison official said he would be treated like any other inmate. If so, Madoff can plan to work seven-hour days on jobs like painting, plumbing and groundskeeping. There’s also no Internet access, televisions in common rooms only, and limited recreation time.

Madoff will be held in one of two medium-security facilities, and will likely have a cell mate who could be a convict sentenced for a similar white-collar crime or something violent.


Trucker executed for killing spree

LUCASVILLE — A former truck driver from Oregon who went on a multistate killing spree was executed Tuesday for murdering an Ohio man who gave him a ride in February 1991.

John Fautenberry, 45, was pronounced dead at 10:37 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, about two hours after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to delay his execution on a claim that he had brain damage.

He was sentenced to death for killing Joseph Daron Jr., 46, who picked up the hitchhiking Fautenberry east of Cincinnati. Court records show Mr. Daron pleaded for his life before Fautenberry shot him and threw his body into a wooded area near the Ohio River.

Fautenberry gave up his right to a trial by jury in Cincinnati and pleaded no contest in July 1992 to two counts each of aggravated murder and grand theft and one count of aggravated robbery in Mr. Daron’s death.

Fautenberry also confessed to killing four people in Alaska, Oregon and New Jersey over five months in late 1990 and early 1991.


Funeral home that cut body shut down

COLUMBIA — A South Carolina judge Tuesday revoked the license of a funeral home where a worker cut the legs off a 6-foot-7 body so it would fit in a casket.

Administrative Law Judge Deborah Durden gave her decision after hearing the appeal of Cave Funeral Home and owner Michael Cave.

The ruling may be the end the family business founded in Allendale 49 years ago. Mr. Cave’s lawyer said his client would wait for the written ruling before deciding whether to appeal and the family is also considering selling the funeral home.

The state Funeral Board ordered the home shut down last month after Mr. Cave admitted his father, Charles Cave, used an electric saw to sever James Hines’ legs at the calf because he wouldn’t fit in the casket. The elder Mr. Cave does not have the license needed to embalm a body, but helped with tasks around the home like dressing and cleaning bodies, his son told the board.


Airlines checks planes after hole in fuselage

DALLAS — Southwest Airlines inspected nearly 200 planes and put them back in the sky Tuesday after a foot-long hole opened in the cabin of an identical jet, forcing the aircraft to make an emergency landing in West Virginia.

Passengers aboard a Nashville-to-Baltimore flight Monday said they could see through the hole above them, just in front of the plane’s tail. The cabin lost pressure, but no one was injured on the flight, which carried 126 passengers and five crew members.

Passenger Michael Cunningham told NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday that he had dozed off in his seat in midcabin when he was awakened by “the loudest roar I’d ever heard.”

Mr. Cunningham said the hole was above his seat. People stayed calm and put on the oxygen masks that dropped from the ceiling.

Southwest said it was not clear what caused the damage.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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