Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Family members jailed after riot

MARION | Members of two feuding families were in jail Tuesday after years of quarreling erupted into a small-town riot in which 150 screaming people hurled rocks and tools, and even struck the police chief.

Five men named either Moore or Sawyer and several juveniles were arrested on assault charges after Monday’s violence, said District Attorney Michael Jackson. Authorities said a 2- or 3-year-old dispute between the two families prompted a melee that eventually swelled out of control to include friends and gang members. It wasn’t clear why the families didn’t get along.

State troopers said eight people were arrested after the fracas, and Mr. Jackson said more would likely be charged.


Remains found could be 1,000 years old

BARROW | Construction workers doing excavation for a new wastewater treatment plant in Alaska unearthed the remains of three people thought to be members of a tribal group that lived in Alaska more than 1,000 years ago.

The Arctic Sounder newspaper reported that archeologists won’t be certain how old the remains are until radiocarbon dating is done.

They think the bodies were members of the Ipiutak, a tribal group that lived in Alaska from 500 to 900 A.D.


City mulls outsiders to run more schools

LOS ANGELES | Almost a third of schools in the nation’s second-largest school district could be run by outside organizations under a highly contested proposal under consideration Tuesday by the Board of Education.

Hundreds of people rallied outside the headquarters of the Los Angeles Unified School District as the board moved toward a vote on a resolution that would invite private charter school operators, local communities and even the mayor’s office to submit proposals for operating 50 new schools that will open over the next few years, as well as 200 existing schools that are chronic underperformers.


Windows with health care posters smashed

DENVER | At least two people smashed windows bearing health care reform posters at the Colorado Democratic headquarters in Denver in what party officials are calling an act of political vandalism.

Police said the windows were broken about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. A policeman witnessed two people smashing windows with hammers, stopped, then pursued the suspects as they fled on bicycles. The officer arrested Maurice Schwenkler, 24, on suspicion of criminal mischief. The other suspect was at large Tuesday.


Ginsburg denies diocese’s request

NEW HAVEN | The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., on Tuesday lost its bid for the U.S. Supreme Court to continue a stay on the release of thousands of documents generated by lawsuits against six priests for purported sexual abuse.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg denied the request, but Ralph Johnson III, an attorney for the diocese, said church officials were considering whether to ask all nine justices to rule on the request to continue a stay.

The diocese said on its Web site Tuesday afternoon that it was disappointed with Justice Ginsburg’s decision and that it “intends to proceed with its announced determination to ask the full U.S. Supreme Court to review the important constitutional issues that this case presents.”


Town, developer settle lawsuit

NEWARK | A real estate developer has reached an agreement in his 15-year-old lawsuit against a small northeastern Pennsylvania township that once owed him $20 million.

Under terms of the agreement signed by a U.S. magistrate Tuesday in Scranton, Pa., Westfall Township will pay David Katz $6 million over 20 years. The quarterly payments will come from a tax increase on the 2,500 residents.


Ex-mayor: Governor get off ‘racist thing’

NEW YORK | New York City’s first black mayor said Gov. David A. Paterson should be more careful when discussing racial issues.

On Friday, Mr. Paterson said the media have exploited stereotypes in coverage of him, President Obama and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Mr. Paterson disputed reports that he accused media outlets of racism. But he said coverage of black officials hasn’t been fair.

Former Mayor David Dinkins said he doesn’t think Mr. Paterson thinks the media are “picking on him because he is black.”

Nonetheless, he told the New York Times that Mr. Paterson “should get off the racist thing.”


Auchincloss indicted in sex-abuse case

PORTLAND | James L. Auchincloss, 62, the half-brother to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, has been indicted on felony charges of encouraging child sexual abuse in Oregon.

Mr. Auchincloss and Mrs. Onassis had the same mother, the now-deceased Janet Lee Bouvier Auchincloss.

Mr. Auchincloss was indicted by a Jackson County grand jury in Medford on 25 counts of abuse resulting from the purported duplication and possession of images of child pornography. The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office said an arraignment has not been scheduled.

A co-defendant, Dennis Lee Vickoren, was indicted on 30 separate felony counts of encouraging child sexual abuse.


Errant notices of fatal illness probed

CHARLESTON | The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will personally apologize to veterans who received erroneous letters saying they had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, agency spokeswoman Katie Roberts said Tuesday.

The veterans also will receive an explanation about how “this unfortunate and regrettable error” occurred and reassurances that the letters do not confirm diagnoses of the fatal neurological disease, she said. Miss Roberts did not say whether the agency has determined how the error occurred.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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