National Round Up

Georgia: Woman told thief computer had tracking device
ATLANTA (AP) — An Atlanta woman who used her feet to type a computer message to her boyfriend asking for help after she was robbed and bound says she persuaded the robber not to steal her laptop.

The woman, 39-year-old Amy Windom, appeared on NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday and described her ordeal.

She says a robber entered her home early Tuesday and bound her to her bed. Windom says the robber left her computer after she told him it has a tracking device.

She says she propped up the laptop and after realizing she couldn’t type with her feet, wedged the power cord between her toes and produced messages. She got her boyfriend’s attention with an instant message and he sent the police to her home.

Washington, D.C.: Gov’t OKs $600M in housing aid for 5 states
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration plans to send $600 million to help unemployed homeowners avoid foreclosure in five states.

The Treasury Department says mortgage-assistance proposals submitted by North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina received approval. The states estimate their efforts could help up to 50,000 homeowners.

The administration is directing $2.1 billion from its existing $75 billion mortgage assistance program to a total of 10 states. Each state designed its own plan.

Treasury approved money in June for Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada.

Pennsylvania: It’s a girl! Giraffe gives birth at Philly zoo
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — It’s a girl! And she’s nearly 6 feet tall!

The Philadelphia Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a newborn giraffe — the first to be born at the zoo in 13 years.

The unnamed female is the offspring of 9-year-old Stella and 4-year-old Gus. Stella and her calf made their public debut on Tuesday.

Zoo officials say the calf was born on July 17 after a 15-month gestation, and that both mother and calf are doing well.

The zoo is giving the public the opportunity to vote for the calf’s name. The choices are Abigail, Patricia or Shari. Votes can be submitted on the zoo’s website. The winning name will be announced in September.

Arizona: Navajos narrow presidential hopefuls to 2
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The first woman to ever make it through the Navajo Nation’s primary election for president has done it again.

Preliminary results from 106 out of 110 precincts show New Mexico state Sen. Lynda Lovejoy leading the field of a dozen candidates in Tuesday’s primary with 16,449 votes.

Lovejoy will face the tribe’s vice president, Ben Shelly, in the Nov. 2 general election.

Shelly finished second with 7,504 votes. Ballots are being manually counted in four precincts because of a power outage, but election officials say those votes won’t change the top two spots.

Lovejoy fought off traditional assertions during her first run for the office that a woman shouldn’t serve as tribal president. She lost to current Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. in the 2006 general election by about 4,500 votes.

Term limits kept Shirley from making another run at the office.

California: Ex-Sunset publisher dead at 90
PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Former Sunset magazine publisher Bill Lane, who donated millions of dollars to Stanford University and environmental causes, has died. He was 90.

Lane also served as U.S. ambassador to Australia and Nauru. Stanford says he died of respiratory failure Saturday at Stanford Hospital.

Lane was born in Iowa and moved to California in 1928, when his father bought the fledgling travel magazine Sunset.

Lane and his brother ran Lane Publishing Co. from the 1950s until 1990, when they sold it to Time Warner.

A 1942 graduate of Stanford, Lane donated $5 million to endow the Bill Lane Center for the American West. He also gave money to help restore a Yosemite National Park amphitheater and preserve Silicon Valley open spaces.

Alaska: Whale likely dead when it hit ship near Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Federal fisheries officials say a whale found dead on the bow of a cruise ship operating in Alaska was likely already dead when it struck the vessel.

The 43-foot-long whale was discovered last week on the bow of the Juneau-bound Sapphire Princess.

Officials say preliminary results of a necropsy performed Friday show evidence that the whale suffered other injuries before the ship strike. For instance, they say an amputated pectoral fin indicates the whale was involved in an earlier boat strike, causing debilitation, death or both.

Officials say ventral pleats in the lower jaw also were missing, which could be evidence of scavenging by killer whales.

Washington: Man ordered to repay $7M in ticket scheme
SEATTLE (AP) — A 52-year-old Washington man has been sentenced to more than four years in prison and ordered to pay more than $7.6 million in restitution after pleading guilty to running a Ponzi scheme that involved tickets for the Super Bowl and other high-demand events.

Kevin Halverson of Bothell was sentenced Monday in federal court in Seattle.

According to court papers, Halverson told more than 50 investors he could get them a high rate of return by buying tickets to such events as the Super Bowl and Indy 500 and then selling them for a big profit.

Authorities say most of the investor money was used by Halverson or to pay off earlier investors.

Halverson pleaded guilty May 7.

California: Greasing elderly at nursing home leads to 6 arrests
UKIAH, Calif. (AP) — Six former Northern California nursing home employees are under arrest on charges they covered several elderly patients with cream to make them slippery as part of a prank against their co-workers.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced the arrests Tuesday, calling the alleged abuse “despicable behavior.”

All of the patients at Valley View Skilled Nursing Facility in Ukiah suffered from dementia, Brown said, and were unable to object to their treatment.