- - Monday, May 24, 2010


Man pleads guilty in arms plot

MIAMI | A Korean-American man has pleaded guilty to U.S. charges of illegally trying to broker deals for Russian military and rocket technology for South Korea.

Juhwan Yun pleaded guilty Monday in West Palm Beach federal court to trying to help South Korea obtain a rocket-propulsion system, SU-27 fighter aircraft, and parts and components for a 20 millimeter Russian gun. Trial had just begun for Yun, 69.

Yun faces a maximum 10 years in prison and $1 million fine when sentenced Aug. 20. Yun is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Short Hills, N.J.

Yun previously was sentenced to 2½ years in federal prison for conspiring in 1989 to supply Iran with 500 quarter-ton bombs of sarin nerve gas. None of the gas was shipped to Iran.


Prosecutor: Put ex-mayor in prison

DETROIT | A prosecutor is seeking a prison term of two years to five years for former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who violated his probation in a criminal case.

In a court filing Monday, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said more probation for Kilpatrick would only be a reward for lies and deceit.

Kilpatrick will appear in court Tuesday to learn his punishment. A judge found he didn’t report all assets and failed other conditions as part of his $1 million restitution to Detroit.

Miss Worthy said the former mayor’s probation should be revoked and a receiver should be appointed to hunt for assets. She said Kilpatrick has “learned nothing” from his criminal case, in which he pleaded guilty to obstructing justice in a civil lawsuit.


Driving to hospital, mom gives birth

BEMIDJI | A Minnesota mother has given birth to a baby boy while driving herself to the hospital, with the newborn’s father steering the car from the passenger’s seat.

The Pioneer of Bemidji said Amanda McBride, 29, was rushing to the hospital Wednesday when suddenly her water broke and the baby “just slid out.”

Mrs. McBride said she was feeling labor pains at work, so she drove to pick up the baby’s father and headed for the hospital. The father, Joseph Phillips, 33, did not drive because he has a history of seizures.

Mr. Phillips told the newspaper that Mrs. McBride yelled at him to take the wheel as she cradled the 8 pound baby boy, Joseph Dominick Phillips.

Officials at North Country Regional Hospital said they were stunned to learn the expectant mother was driving.


Board denies staging lesbian’s ‘sham’ prom

JACKSON | A rural Mississippi school district that was sued by a lesbian student who wanted to bring a same-sex date to the high school prom is denying accusations it routed her to a “sham prom” while most of her schoolmates partied elsewhere.

The Itawamba County School District addressed claims made by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Constance McMillen in papers filed Friday with the U.S. District Court in Aberdeen.

It’s been nearly two months since Miss McMillen attended a prom at the Fulton Country Club that drew fewer than 10 other students from Itawamba Agricultural High School. Most of her classmates attended a separate event at a nearby community center, to which Miss McMillen was not invited, and later posted prom pictures on Internet sites.


Broadway to honor late drama critic

NEW YORK | Broadway theater marquees will be dimmed on Tuesday night in memory of Associated Press drama critic Michael Kuchwara.

Mr. Kuchwara died Saturday night of complications from a lung disease. He was 63.

“Mike Kuchwara covered hundreds of shows during his career spanning almost three decades, and his reviews and features were seen and held in high esteem by millions of people,” Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the Broadway League, said in a statement Tuesday that announced the theater marquee honor.

“He has always been one of the extra special people in our world, and will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him,” she said.

Performer Liza Minnelli and playwright Edward Albee also issued statements about Mr. Kuchwara.

“There’s so little good in a theater predominantly involved with commerce and popularity, as opposed to excellence, that the loss of an intelligent and perceptive critic like Michael Kuchwara is an especially sad note,” said Mr. Albee.


Wind farm planned for Lake Erie

CLEVELAND | General Electric Co. and a regional development group say they plan to create the world’s first freshwater wind farm in Lake Erie near Cleveland.

GE and the nonprofit Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., or LEEDCo, on Monday announced a partnership to develop five wind turbines in the lake to generate 20 megawatts of power by 2012. The project aims generate 1,000 megawatts by 2020.

GE, based in Fairfield, Conn., will build the turbines and provide maintenance, the partners said in a statement released from the annual conference of the American Wind Energy Association in Dallas. In 2009, GE had 44 percent of the U.S. wind-turbine manufacturing market.

The first cluster of towers will be built about 6 miles north of Cleveland Browns stadium and stand about 200 feet tall. The wind will turn blades up to 150 feet long, producing enough electricity to power up to 7,000 homes, said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason, who chaired a local task force that established LEEDCo.


Governor’s coyote run-in spurs new gun

AUSTIN | Gov. Rick Perry’s showdown on the jogging trail has spurred a gun maker to sell a “Coyote Special” edition of the weapon he used to bring down a varmint.

Strum, Ruger & Co. Inc., which makes the .380-caliber pistol Perry used to shoot a coyote he said was threatening his dog, has come out with a limited-edition version.

It is emblazoned with “Coyote Special” and “A True Texan” on the sides. On top is a picture of a coyote howling at the moon and five-pointed star of Texas.

The gun sells for about $340. A laser sight — like the one Mr. Perry uses — will cost about $180 more. The box says the gun is “for sale to Texans only.”


Rocket contractor lays off more engineers

CLEARFIELD | ATK Space Systems has completed a fourth round of layoffs in Utah related to the phase-out of the space shuttle program.

The Clearfield-based company said last week’s 247 layoffs also were a result of the end of a Minuteman ballistic-missile program.

Since October, ATK has laid off about 1,500 engineers, technicians, factory workers and others in Utah, leaving about 3,000 employees.

The company gave the workers a week’s pay for every year of service, up to a maximum of 26 weeks of pay. The federal government is subsidizing the cost of their health insurance for 15 months.

ATK is assembling more powerful booster rockets for the next generation of space vehicles, but funding remains in doubt in Congress, which is holding a hearing Wednesday on the Constellation program.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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