- - Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Prosecutor: Synagogue residence firebombed

RUTHERFORD — New Jersey law enforcement officials urged residents and religious institutions to be vigilant after a Rutherford synagogue and its rabbi’s sleeping quarters were firebombed early Wednesday, the fourth such incident within a month that has been classified as a bias crime against a Jewish center or religious institution in northern New Jersey.

Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said there was no evidence yet linking the four incidents, but his office hadn’t ruled out that they might be connected. In addition to being classified as a bias crime, Mr. Molinelli said Wednesday’s intentionally set early-morning fire at Congregation Beth El was possibly the work of more than one person. He said several Molotov cocktails and other incendiary devices had been thrown at the large white Victorian home, which houses a synagogue on its ground floor and the rabbi’s living quarters on the second level.

Mr. Molinelli said it was being classified as an attempted murder.

He also said there was nothing to suggest that the rabbi had been personally targeted but that nothing had been ruled out, as the investigation was continuing.

The rabbi, his wife and five children and the rabbi’s parents were sleeping when the fire occurred about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday. No one was seriously hurt. Police said one device thrown through the rabbi’s bedroom window did not explode, but ignited, and the rabbi suffered minor burns putting it out.


Parents admit denying ailing son medical care

CLEVELAND — The parents of an 8-year-old boy who died from Hodgkin lymphoma after suffering for months from undiagnosed swollen glands have pleaded guilty to denying him medical treatment.

Monica Hussing, 37, and William Robinson Sr., 40, both of Cleveland, face up to eight years in prison at sentencing. They pleaded guilty Monday to attempted involuntary manslaughter in a last-minute plea deal before their trial was about to begin.

Willie Robinson collapsed at his home on March 22, 2008. Prosecutors say he had begged his parents to take him to see a doctor but had been rejected.

Hodgkin lymphoma is a highly treatable cancer.

Ms. Hussing’s attorney, John Luskin, said his client took responsibility in the case but, given her education and background, didn’t realize the boy was seriously ill and was treating him with cold medication.

“She is a mother that just did not have the capability to recognize” cancer, Mr. Luskin said Wednesday.

“The kid had what appeared to be swollen glands,” he said. “This was not a tumor that was getting bigger. It would come and go. He would have his good days, he would have his bad days.”

According to Mr. Luskin, the parents had financial problems and once tried to get checkups for their children but couldn’t afford that.


Amish men won’t budge on buggy fight

MAYFIELD — A group of conservative Amish men in western Kentucky have become scofflaws in their protest against a state law requiring orange safety triangles on their horse-drawn buggies.

Nine members of the Swartzentruber order in rural Graves County have refused to pay fines for not using the triangles, and eight of them have spent time in jail.

The men believe that the orange triangle is garish and violates their faith’s orders to live simple, plain lives. They prefer using gray reflective tape and lanterns to make their buggies visible to motorists.

Kentucky state officials say the orange triangles are the best way to make sure buggies are visible for the safety of everyone on the road.


Man suing Facebook fined $5,000 by court

BUFFALO — A man who is suing for part ownership of Facebook has been fined $5,000 for failing to comply fully with a court order to give experts access to his email accounts.

Paul Ceglia also was ordered to pay Facebook’s court costs in trying to obtain the material, which Facebook said would help expose Mr. Ceglia’s case as a fraud.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio said Mr. Ceglia had delayed the case by failing to produce his email addresses and passwords dating to 2003 while his lawyers unsuccessfully challenged the August order as an invasion of privacy.

“For whatever reasons, plaintiff, fully advised by his lawyers not to do so, chose to knowingly ignore the unambiguous orders of the court,” Judge Foschio wrote late Tuesday.

The fine is “designed to coerce plaintiff’s future compliance with all court orders in this case,” he said.

The judge declined to take disciplinary action against the attorneys, who have since withdrawn from the case.

Mr. Ceglia’s current lawyer, Dean Boland, said Wednesday that Mr. Ceglia would pay the fine and comply with all future court orders. Facebook has since been given the email account information it sought, he said.


25-foot ice ridge near city awaiting fuel

ANCHORAGE — A researcher assisting in a Russian tanker’s mission to deliver fuel to Nome has discovered a 25-foot ice pressure ridge at the entrance to the harbor of the iced-in city in western Alaska.

The top of the ridge sits just a few feet above the frozen surface, but the rest extends well down into the ocean, said Andy Mahoney of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute.

The ridge is too big for the tanker to get past, but it shouldn’t prevent the 370-foot tanker from delivering 1.3 million gallons of much-needed fuel to Nome. The tanker is equipped with a hose more than a mile long for offloading.

Nome and its 3,500 residents missed their final pre-winter delivery of fuel by barge when a big storm swept western Alaska in the fall. Without the delivery, the city could run short of fuel before a barge delivery becomes possible in late spring.


Feds order closure of accident-prone mine

COEUR D’ALENE — Federal safety inspectors have ordered one of the nation’s deepest underground mines closed in northern Idaho following an investigation prompted by a series of accidents that killed two miners over the last year.

The Lucky Friday Mine, one of the nation’s top silver producers, will remain closed for a year after inspectors determined that sand and concrete material that had piled up over the years needed to be removed. The material is in the mile-deep Silver Shaft, the mine’s main access shaft, and workers will spend the next year essentially power-washing the material from the walls of the shaft.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration order was issued initially on Jan. 5, but company officials said Wednesday they had been negotiating for several days with federal regulators before resigning themselves to the lengthy shutdown. The news caused the stock price of parent company Hecla Mining Co. to lose a quarter of its value on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, tumbling to about $4.40 a share.

About 275 people work at the mine, and about 185 of those employees would lose their jobs because of the closure, Hecla CEO Phil Baker said. He added that the company hopes to hire most or all of them back when mining operations resume in 2013.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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