National Roundup

New York
Remains of missing mom found in park

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — Body parts of a missing mother were found Sunday at an upstate New York park in Niagara Falls, police said.
The remains of homicide victim Loretta Gates, 30, were in a bag found floating in a lake at Hyde Park, Capt. William Thomson of the Niagara Falls Police Department said. Authorities have not said how she was killed.
The discovery comes two days after state police said a headless torso found near the base of Niagara Falls, the famous waterfalls, was the body of the missing mother.
Gates was living at her mother’s house in Niagara Falls when she disappeared the night of Aug. 25 after telling her mother she was going to a store across the street from their home.
Four days later, a tourist aboard a Maid of the Mist tour boat spotted the torso below the falls.
Gates had three children, ages 4, 5 and 11.
Investigators have determined her disappearance isn’t related to the death of a single mother whose badly decomposed torso was found last week in a suitcase in Lake Ontario. That woman’s other body parts were found scattered around Toronto last month, police said.
Toronto Police Const. Tony Vella said autopsy results showed she was Liu Guanghua, a Canadian citizen of Chinese descent. Her estranged boyfriend was charged with murder last month.
The two cases got extra attention since porn actor Luka Magnotta was accused of dismembering a Chinese student in Montreal and mailing his body parts to political parties and a school earlier this year.

New Hampshire
Attorney says med tech spread hepatitis in 2008

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire attorney says a client contracted hepatitis C from a traveling hospital worker two years earlier than has been previously alleged he began spreading the disease.
Portsmouth attorney Michael Rainboth represents five patients who were allegedly infected by medical technician David Kwiatkowski, who’s been charged with tampering with needles and infecting at least 31 people.
Rainboth told the Portsmouth Herald that his newest client, a 65-year-old Vietnam veteran, was infected in 2008 at the Baltimore VA Medical Center and that the hospital is taking responsibility. Prosecutors have said the earliest evidence that Kwiatkowski tested positive for hepatitis C was in 2010.
The hospital on its website says 168 patients had procedures involving Kwiatkowski in 2008, and that it’s offered free hepatitis testing to 51 of them.

Attorney says UNO may have deleted emails

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An attorney for former wrestlers and football players at the University of Nebraska-Omaha claims university officials may have deleted emails that reveal why the school cut both programs.
KMTV-TV in Omaha reports that attorney Mike Degan made the accusation during a court appearance Friday.
The lawsuit comes after a surprise announcement to drop the football and wrestling programs back in 2011. In April, Degan filed a lawsuit on behalf of 13 student-athletes who were seeking documents through a public-records request.
In August, Judge Leigh Ann Retelsdorf ordered the university to hand over the documents to those players by Friday. The university gave up 227 pages of documents on Thursday.
Degan and an attorney for the university both declined to comment after the court hearing.

South Dakota
Court schedules Oct. 1 arguments in Berget appeal

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Supreme Court will hear arguments Oct. 1 in the appeal of a man convicted of murdering a State Penitentiary guard during an escape attempt.
Attorney General Marty Jackley says the arguments in the Rodney Berget case will be heard at the Jeschke Fine Arts Center at the University of Sioux Falls.
Berget pleaded guilty in the April 2011 killing of Ron Johnson and was sentenced to die by lethal injection. His execution has been stayed pending the outcome of the appeal.
The Supreme Court last month upheld the death sentence of Eric Robert, another inmate involved in the escape attempt and killing. He’s scheduled to die by lethal injection the week of Oct. 14.
A third inmate involved in the escape attempt was given life in prison.

Legal challenge for measure legalizing pot

DENVER (AP) — Supporters of a measure that would legalize marijuana in Colorado are mounting a legal challenge over editing by a state panel to a voter guide.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said Monday it has filed a lawsuit in Denver District Court after a state panel edited some of the comments, saying they could cause legal problems.
The panel added a disclaimer last week saying legalizing marijuana wouldn’t automatically produce a windfall from a new tax on marijuana because legislators would have to refer it to voters for approval.
Lawmakers also struck some of the suggested benefits from legalizing marijuana that supporters wanted voters to read.
The panel cannot change ballot language already approved, but they can change how proposals are described to voters.

Court: Former teaching aid to get new hearing

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals has ordered a new sentencing hearing for a former Knox County teaching aid sent to prison on a sex charge.
Scot Vandergriff was charged with sending nude photos which a Gibbs High School student’s mother found on his cellphone.
The 36-year-old Vandergriff ultimately pleaded guilty in a plea agreement and was sentenced to two years in prison.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported the appellate court sent the case back to Criminal Court Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz last week, saying Vandergriff was entitled to a new hearing.
The court said the record doesn’t reflect that the trial court weighed all the factors in denying judicial diversion for Vandergriff.


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