- - Thursday, January 20, 2011


Officers, suspect killed in shootout

MIAMI | A shootout erupted Thursday in a notoriously crime-ridden section of Miami as a team of heavily armed law enforcement agents tried to serve a warrant, leaving two officers and a suspect dead, authorities said.

Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus said the first officer, 21-year veteran Roger Castillo, had been shot once and died at the scene. The second officer, 23-year veteran Amanda Haworth, was taken to a hospital and later died from several gunshot wounds, Mr. Loftus said. He said officers killed the suspect, Johnny Simms, 23, who had been armed with a handgun.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez said a squad of Miami-Dade police officers — who are part of the career-criminal unit of the warrants division — was serving a homicide warrant in the city’s impoverished Liberty City neighborhood. Mr. Loftus said officers knew Mr. Simms was inside the home and told him to come out.

Mr. Loftus said a third officer, Deidree Beecher, was being treated at a hospital for a knee injury.

Several people were being questioned, but no arrests have been made, Mr. Loftus said.


Post-vaccine seizures in young kids probed

ATLANTA | Government officials are investigating an apparent increase in fever-related seizures in young children after they got a flu shot.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday said there have been reports of 36 seizures this flu season in children ages 6 months through 2 years. All the seizures occurred within one day after the youngsters got a vaccine called Fluzone, which is made specifically for younger children.

Ten of the children were hospitalized, but all recovered.

The maker of the flu shot says there’s no clear link between the vaccine and seizures, and they may have been coincidental.


Former football player convicted of assault

IOWA CITY | A jury convicted a former University of Iowa football player Thursday of assault, a simple misdemeanor, related to an October 2007 sexual encounter with a female athlete.

Jurors returned their verdict against Cedric Everson at the Johnson County courthouse after 10 hours of deliberations, which started Tuesday. Mr. Everson, 21, faces up to 30 days in jail when he is sentenced.

The jury did not find him guilty of the more serious charge of third-degree sexual abuse, which would have carried up to 10 years in prison.


School bus, plow collide; 22 kids, driver hurt

SAVANNAH | A school bus carrying fifth- and sixth-graders slammed into the back of a town snowplow on a central New York road, injuring 22 children and the bus driver, authorities said Thursday.

Wayne County sheriff’s officials said two of the most seriously injured children were sitting in the front seat on the right side of the bus when it hit the plow around 7:50 a.m. Thursday at an intersection in the rural town of Savannah.

The front end of the Clyde-Savannah Central School District bus was heavily damaged, crumpled as far back as the windshield and the front door.

The two students, one of them an 11-year-old boy and the other a girl, were trapped for about 30 minutes. The bus driver was trapped for about an hour, Chief Deputy Bob Hetzke said.


Bank forecloses on socialite’s estate

RICHMOND | Already having lost her winery business to foreclosure, socialite and vintner Patricia Kluge now faces losing the grand country estate where she once held lavish parties for prominent guests.

Bank of America filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville this month alleging that Mrs. Kluge defaulted on three loans worth nearly $23 million on Albemarle House, the 23,500-square-foot brick Georgian home and its grounds. The bank also seeks interest, fees and other expenses.

The foreclosure comes shortly after Mrs. Kluge and her husband, William Moses, lost their Kluge Estate Winery & Vineyard after defaulting on nearly $35 million in loans during their effort to build a national wine business in a tough economy. Farm Credit Bank owns the 900-acre operation after there were no takers at a December auction.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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