- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 6, 2009

Arsonist gets death penalty for deaths

RIVERSIDE, Calif. | A Southern California man has been sentenced to death for setting a 2006 wildfire that killed five firefighters.

Raymond Lee Oyler was convicted of five counts of first-degree murder in March for setting the Oct. 26, 2006, blaze in Riverside County, about 90 miles east of Los Angeles.

Riverside County Judge W. Charles Morgan imposed the sentence Friday after relatives of the victims made emotional statements to the court.

The victims were San Bernardino National Forest firefighters who were overrun by flames while defending a rural home.

Graduation canceled over cheating

CENTERBURG, Ohio | An Ohio school district says it has canceled a high school’s graduation ceremony after discovering several seniors cheated on a test.

Centerburg schools, northeast of Columbus, announced the cancellation of Saturday’s graduation ceremonies following an emergency meeting of the education board.

The district says a Centerburg High School senior apparently hacked into the school’s computer system, found the test and made copies of it.

The district says it decided to cancel graduation because so many seniors were involved either by cheating or by knowing about the cheating but failing to report it.

School officials say they will mail diplomas next week to seniors qualified to graduate.

Prosecutors: Videos detail N.Y. terror plot

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. | Authorities say they secretly videotaped nearly every move made by four men accused of plotting attacks on New York City synagogues and upstate New York military targets.

At a court hearing in White Plains, N.Y., prosecutors said some of the videos were shot from an airplane and a helicopter. Law enforcers say they tracked the men last month on the day they planted what they believed were explosives in the Bronx.

The bombs were fake, part of a sting operation involving nearly 100 officers.

The handcuffed suspects did not speak Friday. They were ordered to return to court on Sept. 17.

James Cromitie, Laguerre Payen, David Williams and Onta Williams are being held without bail on a variety of charges.

Thief nabs costumes from ‘Wonderland’

PETERBOROUGH, N.H. | Missing: One Humpty Dumpty costume, last seen with Cheshire Cat.

The costume belongs to the Peterborough Players, a southern New Hampshire theater troupe. It was made for a production of “Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland.”

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports that the costume was last seen at a May 16 festival.

During the festival, the theater company breaks out many costumes and allows children to try them on. The costumes are then worn by actors in a parade.

But it appears someone got his or her hands on Humpty and walked away. Someone spotted the costumed thief walking with a person in a Cheshire Cat costume.

A teenager has since returned the cat costume, but all the king’s horses and all the king’s men cannot find Humpty Dumpty again.

From staff dispatches and wire reports

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