National Roundup


Appeals court rules in favor of meat labels 
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court is allowing labels on meat products that say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.
Government rules took effect last year that require labels on steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat that include country of origin information.
But the meat industry tried block the rules in court. The industry argues the labels go beyond what Congress intended when it wrote the law and violate First Amendment rights to freedom of speech.
But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled those claims were unlikely to succeed in court and refused to block the labeling rules, agreeing with a lower federal court.

Student files suit over mishap with saw in shop class 
BEND, Ore. (AP) — A $6 million lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a Central Oregon student who nearly lost a hand in a mishap involving a table saw.
The suit against the Sisters School District and a shop teacher alleges unsafe equipment and inadequate supervision.
The Bend Bulletin reports that Josh Ward was serving as a teacher’s aide in a freshman wood shop class in December 2012. The accident occurred when he was asked to cut some pieces for a separate class that was making guitars.
Ward, who’s now a senior, lost the tip of his pinkie and a ring finger was later amputated.
Attorney Tom D’Amore says he hopes the suit serves as a wake-up call for schools and businesses using older table saws.
Hamilton woman denies charges in ‘stomping’ death 
HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) — A 28-year-old Hamilton woman is denying allegations she participated with her husband in the stomping death of another man.
The Ravalli Republic reports that 28-year-old Candace E. Sullivan pleaded not guilty Thursday in Ravalli County District Court to accountability for deliberate homicide and conspiracy to commit deliberate homicide.
Her husband, 25-year-old Richard Michael Sullivan, has pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide in connection with the Jan. 28 death of 25-year-old Robert Thaut of Hamilton.
Prosecutors say Sullivan and his wife had been drinking at Thaut’s house when Sullivan became angry because Thaut smelled Candace Sullivan’s hair.
An autopsy found Thaut suffered blunt-force trauma to his abdomen up to two hours before a 911 call was made and could have survived with prompt medical attention. He also suffered blows to the head.
Lawyer, brother plead not guilty to shooting 
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — A Hot Springs attorney whose relationship with the attorney general led to his dropping out of the race for governor, and her brother, have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Andrea Davis and Matthew Davis each pleaded not guilty Friday in Garland County District Court in the 2012 shooting death of Maxwell Anderson. A judge set Andrea Davis’ bail at $75,000, which includes other unrelated charges, and Matthew Davis’ at $25,000.
Andrea Davis was also sentenced to 15 days in jail and $2,000 in fines for previous contempt of court convictions. Her attorney said she would immediately appeal that ruling.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel dropped out of the governor’s race last year after admitting to having an inappropriate relationship with Andrea Davis.

Lawsuit over new Smoky Mountain fee can continue 
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit over backcountry camping fees implemented last year at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park can move forward.
However, Eastern District of Kentucky Senior Judge Joseph Hood dismissed a portion of the lawsuit that challenges an online reservation system.
According to media reports, Hood said in his ruling this week that South Forest Watch had failed to show any harm from the reservation system.
“Plaintiffs may prefer the old reservation system to the online reservation system, but plaintiffs’ desire for the old voluntary reservation system does not allege an injury in fact that creates a case or controversy, thereby giving this court jurisdiction,” he said in his opinion.
However, he said the organization has the standing to challenge the fee under the federal Administrative Procedure Act.
The park began mandating use of an online reservation system and charging a $4 per person, per night fee for use of more than 80 backcountry campsites and 15 trail shelters on Feb. 13, 2013.
Before then, only a few of the most used backcountry sites needed reservations and there was no fee.
New deadline for bomb indictment will be March 24  
JOHNSTOWN, Pennsylvania (AP) — A federal judge has extended the deadline for prosecutors to indict a Russian-born college student accused of building bombs in his central Pennsylvania apartment.
The Altoona Mirror reports U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson, who previously extended the deadline to March 24, has extended it another month while attorneys for 18-year-old Vladislav Miftakhov and the government negotiate the charges to be filed.
Gibson has previously ruled the former Penn State-Altoona student, whose family lives in San Carlos, Calif., should remain jailed while his case moves forward.
He was arrested Jan. 24 when police acted on a landlord’s tip that Miftakhov was growing marijuana and also found bomb making materials in his off-campus apartment.
Decision in voter citizens­hip suit faces appeals
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Voting rights groups are appealing a judge’s decision requiring federal election officials to help Kansas and Arizona enforce state laws requiring new voters to document their U.S. citizenship.
A court filing on Friday sent to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals seeks review of this month’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren. The judge ordered the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to immediately modify a national voter registration form to add special instructions requiring proof-of-citizenship for Kansas and Arizona residents.
The appeal was made by more than a dozen voting rights groups and individuals who had earlier intervened in the case.


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