- - Monday, March 28, 2011


Border agent killed man climbing wall

PHOENIX — A Mexican man was climbing a ladder when a Border Patrol agent fatally shot him three times, a sheriff’s spokeswoman told the Associated Press on Monday.

Cochise County sheriff’s investigators have no indication that Carlos La Madrid, 19, assaulted or tried to assault the agent when he was shot March 21, said agency spokeswoman Carol Capas.

Mr. La Madrid had fled police in the Arizona border city of Douglas in a truck and drove to the border with Mexico. He was climbing a ladder and trying to cross the border, and another man atop the wall began throwing rocks at the pursuing agent, Miss Capas said.

Mr. La Madrid was shot three times and died later that day at a local hospital. The man on the wall got away.

Miss Capas did not know where on Mr. La Madrid’s body he was shot. The Cochise County Medical Examiner’s Office would not release the autopsy results.


Father, son died in sailboat expedition

SAN DIEGO — A father and son died when a sailboat carrying 10 people on an excursion organized for people with special needs capsized in calm water in San Diego Bay, authorities said Monday.

Chao Chen, 73, and his son, Jun Chen, 48, of San Diego died Sunday night, Harbor Police Chief John Bolduc said.

Eight other people who were thrown into the water were injured. Among them were two young adults with undisclosed special needs, and a 10-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy who were wearing life jackets, authorities said.

Investigators were determining how many others were wearing life vests. The cause of the mishap also remained under investigation.

The people on the 26-foot boat included seven members of one family and two members of another, along with the skipper of the craft.

The excursion was organized by an unidentified Indiana-based group that provides sailing trips for people with disabilities, authorities said.


Comptroller wants pension data online

NEW YORK — The city’s comptroller announced Monday that he plans to make public the inner workings of one of the nation’s largest public pension fund systems, letting residents see which companies’ stocks are being bought with their tax dollars and monitor the performance of more than $113 billion in investments.

Much of the plan will require the agreement of members of the boards of trustees that govern the five city pension funds, but Comptroller John Liu said he thinks that the trustees will readily agree to reverse a longstanding practice of confining most discussions to private sessions and they will be willing to allow detailed information on the funds’ holdings and how they are performing to be published and updated regularly.

The funds’ holdings, worth $113.4 billion on Dec. 31, include shares in thousands of companies. But there has never been an easy way for New Yorkers to determine which companies’ stocks are being bought with their tax dollars, and summary reports have traditionally lagged by months.


Governor signs cut in jobless benefits

LANSING — Michigan has become the first state in the country to lower the number of weeks jobless workers can get state benefits.

Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, signed a bill Monday that temporarily continues federal benefits for people who are out of work now while cutting state benefits for new filers from 26 to 20 weeks starting next year.

Without the law change, 35,000 Michigan residents would have had 20 weeks of extended federal benefits expire in early April, and another 150,000 residents would have lost them by the end of the year.

Mr. Snyder said cutting off those workers so abruptly would jeopardize their well-being, but critics think the reduction in state benefits will affect residents for years down the road.

The state’s 10.4 percent unemployment rate is among the highest in the nation.


Studies: Folk remedies for colic don’t work

CHICAGO — That nonstop crying of a baby with colic has some parents turning to popular folk remedies, but a review of 15 studies shows no good evidence that they work.

The results don’t surprise New York City mother Leni Calas, 32. She tried many treatments studied, including fennel extract, sugar drops and massage, and said nothing worked for baby Roxy, who cried almost nonstop for six months.

Mrs. Calas said she and her husband couldn’t accept what doctors told them — that there was nothing wrong with their baby and that she would outgrow the crying spells. But that’s exactly what happened.

That is what most doctors believe about colic, which affects up to roughly 20 percent of U.S. babies, usually in the first few months of life.

If a physical problem can be found, the condition is usually not considered colic. Gastric reflux and protein allergies are among conditions that can cause digestive upsets and crying spells in babies, and are often mistakenly called colic.


Church elder moves to replace Jeffs

SALT LAKE CITY — Jailed polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs may no longer have control of his southern Utah-based church after a senior leader on Monday moved to replace him.

William E. Jessop, 41, filed papers with the Utah Department of Commerce to take over as president of the corporation that is the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mr. Jessop, who served as bishop of the twin FLDS border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., said Monday his rise to the presidency is not an attempt to take over the church, but rather the fulfillment of an earlier directive from Jeffs.

Jeffs, 55, was convicted in Utah in 2007 on two felony counts of rape as an accomplice and was ordered to serve life sentences, but the convictions were later overturned.


Priests among protesters sentenced to prison

TACOMA — A federal judge has sentenced five anti-war demonstrators who cut through fences at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor to prison terms ranging from three to 15 months.

The News Tribune reported that Jesuit priest Bill Bichsel, 82, of Tacoma was given a three-month prison sentence; Sister Anne Montgomery, 84, of Redwood City, Calif., got two months; and social worker Lynne Greenwald, 61, of Tacoma got six months.

Two defendants — Jesuit priest Stephen Kelly, 61, of Oakland, Calif., and retired teacher Susan Crane, 67, of Baltimore — each got 15 months.

The five defendants had been convicted of conspiracy, trespass and destruction of government property and had faced up to 10 years in prison.

Court documents say the group was protesting submarine nuclear weapons when they cut through fences at the base in November 2009.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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