- The Washington Times - Monday, March 8, 2010

ARIZONA

Six passengers killed in bus crash

SACATON | Six people were ejected from a bus and killed Friday when the vehicle hit a pickup and rolled over on the interstate south of Phoenix, state police said.

The six were thrown about 10 yards in the accident about 5:30 a.m. on the Gila River Indian Reservation near the community of Sacaton, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Their bodies were covered with blue tarps midmorning Friday, and police said there may be another victim under the bus.

The roof of the bus was crushed and all the windows were knocked out.



DPS spokesman Bart Graves said two men and four women, all aboard the bus, were killed. The bus, traveling from central Mexico to Los Angeles, was carrying at least 22 passengers, and the surviving 16 passengers were all injured. Police said the rollover triggered a second accident when another pickup slowed and was hit by a sedan. One person from the sedan was taken to a hospital.

CALIFORNIA

Principal apologizes for choice of heroes

LOS ANGELES | The principal of a South Los Angeles elementary school has apologized after some children carried photos of O.J. Simpson, RuPaul and Dennis Rodman in a parade celebrating Black History Month.

Lorraine Abner of Wadsworth Avenue Elementary School sent a letter Thursday to parents apologizing for what she called judgment errors in choosing black role models.

Youngsters carried the photos during a parade last week. Three white teachers have been suspended while the school district investigates.

District spokeswoman Gayle Pollard-Terry said Simpson was on a school-approved list of Black History Month figures that dates to 1985 but Rodman and RuPaul were added later in pencil.

NEVADA

Muslim group: Police detained praying men

LAS VEGAS | The nation’s largest Muslim advocacy organization has filed a complaint with police in a Las Vegas suburb, saying seven Muslim men from Southern California were detained and told they were acting suspiciously while praying in a shopping center parking lot.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said Friday it filed the complaint last week against the Henderson Police Department because it did not understand what was suspicious about the men.

“Our main concern is the police department looking at praying and the way they looked as probable cause for investigating those men,” said CAIR spokeswoman Munira Syeda. “They did nothing illegal.”

Henderson police spokesman Todd Rasmussen said the complaint was received and internal affairs would investigate, but he declined comment on the incident.

NEW YORK

ABC signal pulled in cable dispute

NEW YORK | Cablevision subscribers were scrambling Sunday to hook up antennas or find live TV on the Internet in order to watch the Academy Awards after ABC’s parent company Walt Disney Co. switched off its signal in a dispute over fees.

The standoff affected 3.1 million subscribers to Cablevision Systems Corp. in parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. It was the first time in a decade that a major broadcast station went dark in a dispute with a cable company.

As Cablevision customers and consumer groups fumed, lawmakers including Sen. John Kerry, Rep. Nita M. Lowey and Gov. David A. Paterson said Disney and Cablevision should agree to binding arbitration if they cannot resolve the dispute on their own.

The companies traded blame for the stalemate ahead of one of the most-watched nights of television.

NORTH CAROLINA

Ex-FBI officials to probe lab practices

RALEIGH | North Carolina’s attorney general has ordered an independent review of the state’s crime lab after revelations about practices there that led to the exoneration of a man wrongly accused of murder.

Attorney General Roy Cooper told the Associated Press on Friday that two former assistant directors of the FBI will review the lab’s practices. Mr. Cooper said the review of cases dating to the 1990s will begin in about a week.

State Bureau of Investigation Director Robin Pendergraft told the AP last month the lab once had a policy of not automatically providing complete notes on blood test results for trials.

The practices became known last month during a hearing that freed Greg Taylor after more than 16 years in prison.

PENNSYLVANIA

Party blamed in student death

PITTSBURGH | A man who had been celebrating a friend’s birthday by drinking and socializing was found dead Sunday in a Carnegie Mellon University fraternity house, police said.

The 22-year-old man “likely drank too much” while celebrating Saturday night, Detective Christine Williams said.

The man, whose identity wasn’t disclosed because his parents hadn’t been notified, was found Sunday afternoon by one of the friend’s roommates at the Pi Kappa Alpha house, police said. He was a student at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, about 30 miles southeast of Carnegie Mellon.

His cause of death hasn’t been determined. Carnegie Mellon, a top-ranked university recognized for its arts and technology programs, has more than 11,000 students and 4,000 faculty and staff.

TEXAS

Gunman killed in Wal-Mart shootout

COMMERCE | A man walked into a Wal-Mart in Texas carrying at least two guns before engaging in a shootout with police outside the store, authorities said. The man was killed and an off-duty officer in the store who had tried to stop him was injured.

The incident in the East Texas city of Commerce began when police received a call of shots being fired from a car in nearby Greenville, about 50 miles northeast of Dallas, said City of Commerce spokeswoman Marty Cunningham.

Commerce police intercepted the car just outside the city limits, where the man exchanged gunfire with officers, Ms. Cunningham said. He then drove to Wal-Mart and entered the store “carrying a long gun and pistol,” the spokeswoman said.

Ms. Cunningham said an off-duty officer from another agency was in the store and saw the man leave. The officer tried to stop the suspect in front of the store, where the officer and Commerce police exchanged gunfire with the man. The off-duty officer was taken to a hospital with unknown injuries. Ms. Cunningham said two people inside the store at the time of the shooting were hospitalized after complaining of chest pains

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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