- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 30, 2009

ARIZONA

State Capitol up for sale?

PHOENIX | For sale: historic buildings with reliable tenants.

Arizona lawmakers, desperate for cash, are considering selling the House and Senate buildings, then leasing them back over several years before assuming ownership again.

Dozens of other state buildings also may be sold off and leased back as the state grapples with a huge budget deficit.

Under the complex financial arrangement, state government services would continue without interruption while the state picks up a cash infusion estimated at $735 million.

CALIFORNIA

Jackson autopsy results delayed

LOS ANGELES | The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office has said the release of Michael Jackson’s autopsy results will be delayed.

Coroner’s officials had said they were going to release the results this week, but Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said Wednesday the announcement will probably not come until next week.

Mr. Winter did not discuss reasons for the delay. Mr. Jackson died June 25.

A law enforcement official has said investigators are working under the theory that the powerful anesthetic propofol caused Mr. Jackson’s heart to stop.

FLORIDA

Fired official, porn star wife to move

FORT MYERS BEACH | The administrator of a southwest Florida beach town who was fired because his wife is an adult film actress says he is leaving town, but doesn’t plan legal action.

The Fort Myers Beach Town Council made international news when it voted to fire town manager Scott Janke, 55, last week. The action came after city officials learned his wife of less than a year was an actress in the adult film industry.

Mr. Janke held a Web chat with readers of the News-Press publication Wednesday. He said he and Anabela Mota, 42, are leaving town with their “heads held high.”

He won’t say where the family will live. The couple is raising Mrs. Mota’s 15-year-old triplets.

Officials called the issue a disruption that was bad for the town’s image.

GEORGIA

First swine flu vaccines allotted

ATLANTA | A government panel has recommended that certain groups be placed at the front of the line for swine flu vaccinations this fall, including pregnant women, health care workers and children six months and older.

The panel also said those first vaccinated should include parents and other caregivers of infants, non-elderly adults who have high-risk medical conditions, and young adults ages 19 to 24.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to set vaccination priorities for those groups Wednesday during a meeting in Atlanta. The panel’s recommendations are usually adopted by federal health officials.

ILLINOIS

Media requests on Blagojevich denied

CHICAGO | A federal judge said he’ll largely turn down media requests for access to sealed documents in former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s political corruption case.

U.S. District Judge James Zagel said Wednesday he tentatively plans to unseal a smattering of what news organizations want to be made public, including snippets of a motion filed by lawyers for Blagojevich co-defendant William Cellini.

The Cellini document had been sought by the Chicago Tribune, CNN and WLS-TV.

CNN and WLS also sought access to FBI wiretaps of Mr. Blagojevich’s phone conversations in the days before his arrest.

Mr. Blagojevich is accused of scheming to sell or trade President Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat and of illegally squeezing business executives for campaign money. He has denied wrongdoing.

NEW YORK

Suspect in political corruption case dies

NEW YORK | One of the 44 people arrested last week in a sweeping federal probe of political corruption and money laundering in New Jersey that netted several city mayors and rabbis has been found dead in suspicious circumstances, authorities said.

Jack Shaw, 61, a longtime Democratic political consultant, was discovered dead at his Jersey City home Tuesday afternoon in circumstances Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio called “suspicious,” local media reported.

An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday. The prosecutor told the New York Times the death did not appear to be a homicide, but could be natural, accidental or a suicide.

Mr. Shaw was accused last week of accepting a $10,000 cash bribe from a government informant posing as a real estate developer hoping to win project approval and public contracts, according to documents in the case.

He had been working for developers in northern New Jersey, the Times said. Mr. Shaw previously worked for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and former New Jersey Gov. Jim Florio and helped with New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine’s race for U.S. Senate in 2000.

NORTH CAROLINA

Israel denied entry to jihad suspect

RALEIGH | Israel denied entry two years ago to members of a North Carolina family that includes three men accused of plotting to execute terrorist attacks in foreign countries, an official said Wednesday.

Daniel Boyd, 39, was arrested Monday with six others, including two sons. Authorities claim Mr. Boyd was the ringleader of a group that was gearing up for a “violent jihad,” though prosecutors haven’t detailed any specific targets or timeframe. If convicted, the men could face life in prison. An eighth suspect is thought to be in Pakistan.

Mr. Boyd’s wife, Sabrina, told a Raleigh newspaper that he and one of their sons flew to Israel in 2007 to visit Muslim holy sites, but were denied entry and detained for two days. That followed a trip Mr. Boyd made with another son, who is not charged, to Israel a year earlier. She denied any malevolent purpose for their visits.

The U.S. indictment said Mr. Boyd and two sons, Zakariya, 20, and Dylan, 22, traveled to Israel in July 2007 to meet with two of the other defendants but returned home “having failed in their attempt at violent jihad.”

An Israeli security official confirmed that members of the Boyd family were denied entry in 2007.

UTAH

Men not charged for kissing in plaza

SALT LAKE CITY | The Salt Lake City Prosecutor’s Office said it will not pursue charges against two men who were cited for trespassing on a Mormon church-owned downtown plaza earlier this month after sharing a kiss.

Prosecutor Sim Gill said there is reason to think that although the property is private, Matt Aune and his partner, Derek Jones, did not think they could legally be ejected from the plaza because it is perceived to be open to the public.

Mr. Aune and Mr. Jones said they were targeted because they are gay. The July 9 incident has prompted two mass kissing demonstrations at the plaza.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disputed Mr. Aune’s and Mr. Jones’ version of the events, saying their behavior was lewd.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide