National Roundup

California

Protest held after Indian remains unearthed

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) -- Protesters want construction halted at a California housing development after builders unearthed Native American remains at what is believed to be a 6,000-year-old burial site.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel says about 100 people participated in a two-mile march Sunday to demand a halt to construction of 32 homes. Protesters held signs reading, "All cemeteries are sacred" and "No bulldozers on sacred ground."

Coroner's investigator Naomi Silva says builder KB Homes earlier this month found a partial skull or mandible of a Native American child buried in the grassy open space. A piece of an Indian necklace was also found at the nine-acre site.

Sunday's demonstration was organized by a group called Save the Knoll, which formed about a week ago after members learned about the remains.

New York

Pfizer: Federal court upholds Viagra patent

NEW YORK (AP) -- Pfizer Inc. said Monday a federal court has backed its patent protecting the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, which prevents generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. from receiving approval for its version of the drug until October 2019.

Pfizer, the world's largest drugmaker, said the decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia is subject to appeal.

The company also said litigation on the same patent is still pending against other companies.

Minnesota

At least 5 lawsuits filed over Imprelis herbicide

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- At least five lawsuits have been filed in Minnesota over a lawn herbicide that's caused damage to trees.

DuPont makes the herbicide Imprelis. The Environmental Protection Agency ordered DuPont to stop selling and distributing the herbicide a week after the company voluntarily suspended its sale on Aug. 4. DuPont says it will begin a product recall and refund program.

Minneapolis attorney Stephen Foley has filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of one Wayzata resident who claims that at least 10 spruce trees in his yard were damaged after Imprelis was applied to his lawn.

The Star Tribune says mprelis was sold only to commercial applicators and wasn't available over the counter.

Georgia

Court hearing set in Ga. on 2003 sentencing

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) -- A court hearing has been set for a 70-year-old man who has been free on bond since he was sentenced in Columbus for child molestation in 2003.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Doug Pullen sentenced Melvin Charles Moseley, who had pleaded guilty to having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

Moseley was allowed to remain free on $25,000 bond because of health reasons while Pullen awaited Moseley's sexual and psychological evaluation. The report was received the following month, but Moseley has never been sent to prison.

Defense attorney Mark Shelnutt says incarcerating Moseley now would amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

The state Judicial Qualifications Commission reviewed the case last week. A hearing has been set for Tuesday to resolve it.

Maine couple going on trial in redemption scam

ALFRED, Maine (AP) -- A Maine couple is being tried on charges they passed off no-deposit containers from New Hampshire and Massachusetts as if they were from Maine.

Thomas and Megan Woodard, who operated Green Bee Redemption, in Kittery, allegedly returned more than 100,000 bottles and cans and effectively stole about $10,000.

Indicted by a grand jury in York County last February, the two are accused of deceiving manufacturers, distributors and collection agents from 2008 to 2010.

WMTW-TV reports that jury selection begins Monday in Alfred for the Woodards, who are being tried in the same proceeding.

Missouri

Man won't be retried for mother's 1993 slaying

LINN, Mo. (AP) -- A central Missouri man who served 14 years of a life sentence for his mother's death before a judge overturned the conviction as the result of a tainted trial won't be tried again unless compelling new evidence comes to light, a county prosecutor announced Sunday.

Osage County prosecutor Amanda Grellner gave no reason for her decision to dismiss the case against 54-year-old Dale Helmig. But in a brief statement, she noted there is no statute of limitations for murder, the Jefferson City News Tribune reported.

"This case remains an open and ongoing investigation," Grellner said. "Should additional information become available, it will be reviewed and analyzed, along with the other information we already have, in making a decision as to whether or not to re-file and re-try Dale Helmig."

Helmig, a house painter, has always maintained his innocence in the death of 55-year-old Norma Helmig, whose body was found tied to a concrete block in the flood-swollen Osage River on Aug. 1, 1993. He was sentenced to life without parole after a Gasconade County jury convicted him in March 1996 of first-degree murder.

Unsuccessful in various appeals, Helmig brought a habeas corpus action in the northwestern Missouri county where he was imprisoned, arguing he was being illegally detained.

DeKalb County Circuit Judge Warren McElwain heard arguments in July 2010 and ruled last November that Helmig should be freed because he "was a victim of a fundamental miscarriage of justice."

Among other things, McElwain suggested in his ruling that Norma Helmig's husband, Ted, was a more likely suspect than Dale Helmig. Ted Helmig and his wife were going through a bitter divorce at the time. Their rift included an incident at a Jefferson City diner where Ted Helmig threw a drink at his wife -- a dispute wrongly blamed on Dale Helmig at his murder trial.

Helmig was freed in March after the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld McElwain's ruling. The Missouri Supreme Court later declined to hear Attorney General Chris Koster's appeal and gave Grellner 180 days to take Helmig back to trial or dismiss the case.

Ted Helmig, now 80, has consistently denied killing his wife.

Dale Helmig has always maintained he was in Fulton when his mother was killed, and he spent the night in that city because he thought the bridges over the Missouri River at Jefferson City had been closed.

The bridges were closed for much of the day on July 28, 1993 -- the last night Norma Helmig was seen alive -- because authorities feared a runaway propane tank, set free by record-setting flooding along the Missouri, would hit one of the bridge supports and explode.

Published: Tue, Aug 16, 2011

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