- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 17, 2009

Teen fatally shot after stabbing cop

CONWAY, S.C. | A South Carolina police officer fatally shot a 16-year-old student who stabbed him at a high school, a coroner said.

Horry County Coroner Robert Edge said Trevor Varinecz died of multiple gunshot wounds Friday.

Authorities said Mr. Varinecz pulled a knife and fought briefly with an officer as school started Friday morning at Carolina Forest High School in Conway.

Horry County schools spokeswoman Teal Britton said the boy asked to speak to the officer. She said the teen stabbed the officer after the two went into an office.

A hospital spokeswoman said the officer was being treated and was in good condition.

Hospital: Kidnapping suspect competent

SALT LAKE CITY | A state court judge said Friday the Utah State Hospital has determined that the woman charged in the 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart is competent for trial.

The hospital’s finding, provided in a report three days ago to Judge Judith Atherton, was announced in Salt Lake City’s 3rd District Court. It could mean the case of Wanda Eileen Barzee is headed toward trial, although Judge Atherton first must rule Miss Barzee competent.

Judge Atherton set a Nov. 19 hearing to give Miss Barzee’s attorneys time to have their own experts review the hospital’s findings. Defense attorney Scott Williams said he will seek opinions from experts involved in the case over the past six years.

Search continues for missing pilot

CHARLESTON, S.C. | Debris and an oil slick were spotted in the Atlantic off the South Carolina coast as the search expanded Friday for an F-16 fighter pilot whose jet collided with another during night training exercises.

The search was expanded from 750 to 1,300 square miles as Coast Guard and Air Force aircraft joined vessels from the Coast Guard, Navy, law enforcement and commercial shippers looking for Capt. Nicholas Giglio. He is based at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter.

The planes collided Thursday around 8:30 p.m. about 40 miles off the South Carolina coast, said Senior Master Sgt. Brad Fallin at Shaw Air Force Base.

Both jets, based at Shaw, are single-seat aircraft.

Judge won’t dismiss murder charge

ORLANDO, Fla. | A judge has dismissed a request to throw out the most serious criminal charges against a Florida mother accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter.

Circuit Judge Stan Strickled ruled Friday that a motion filed by Casey Anthony’s attorneys did not meet the requirements needed for a dismissal of the first-degree-murder and aggravated child abuse charges.

In an earlier filing, Miss Anthony’s attorneys had said the charges were based on “circumstantial and speculative” evidence.

During a brief hearing Friday, prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick said the defense attorneys’ motion was insufficient and riddled with errors.

Miss Anthony has pleaded not guilty and says a baby sitter kidnapped Caylee. The girl’s remains were found in December 2008, months after she was reported missing.

Phone ban eyed for N.Y. cabbies

NEW YORK | New Yorkers and tourists who have ever been frustrated by cabbies talking on the phone might get their full attention soon.

The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission on Friday proposed prohibiting cab drivers from using an array of new communications technologies. That includes hands-free Bluetooth devices and smart phones.

A taxi drivers’ group calls the proposal “cruel and irresponsible.” The commission said talking while driving is a safety hazard.

Taxi drivers have been prohibited from using handheld and hands-free phones while driving since 1999. But the new rules would significantly increase penalties and prohibit drivers from even wearing wireless earpieces.

Marriage license denial upsets groups

NEW ORLEANS | At least two civil- and constitutional-rights groups are calling for a Louisiana justice of the peace to resign after he refused to issue a marriage license for an interracial couple.

The head of the American Civil Liberties Union in Louisiana and the Center for Constitutional Rights and Justice in New York said Keith Bardwell should quit immediately.

Mr. Bardwell is a white justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish in southeastern Louisiana. He refused earlier this month to issue a license or marry Beth Humphrey, who is white, and Terence McKay, who is black.

Mr. Bardwell said he always asks if a couple is interracial and, if they are, refers them to another justice of the peace. He said children of such unions face troubling futures.

Lincoln documents on display at Cornell

ITHACA, N.Y. | Three historic documents that distinguished Abraham Lincoln’s presidency will be put on rare display at Cornell University.

An original handwritten copy of the Gettysburg Address and signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution will be part of the exhibit at Cornell’s Carl A. Kroch Library.

The Gettysburg Address is to be on display only during the first week of the exhibition, which begins Tuesday and runs through April 16, 2010.

Cornell last put all three documents on display in 2002, during an exhibit on slavery. Before that, it had been decades since they were last shown together.

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