Archive for Thursday, October 19, 2000

National Briefs

October 19, 2000



Judge allows abortion repayment

A county judge ruled Wednesday that pregnant women who qualify for Medicaid can be reimbursed for abortions deemed medically necessary.

Current state law allows Medicaid funds to be used for abortions when the woman's life is in danger or when the woman is a victim of rape or incest, but not in other circumstances.

Marion County Superior Court Judge Susan Macey Thompson found the current state rules unconstitutional, saying that if the state chooses to provide Medicaid abortion funding in stipulated cases, it also must provide funding for medically necessary abortions.


Teen athletes plead to hazing

Seven teen-agers who pleaded guilty in a high school hazing scandal were sentenced Wednesday to from two to nine months in prison. An eighth student charged in the scandal has not entered a plea.

The eight, all members of Winslow High School's basketball or track teams, were indicted in May on charges ranging from kidnapping to rape.

Court records show the victims told sheriff's investigators their attackers held them down, pulled down their pants and inserted fingers and other objects in their rectums.

Six Winslow coaches resigned, and basketball coach Danny Gonzalez was charged with three counts of child abuse. No trial date has been scheduled.

Outer Space

Astronauts test new jetpacks

Two spacewalking astronauts wrapped up construction work outside the international space station on Wednesday, then fired up their jetpacks and cruised around.

Jeff Wisoff and Michael Lopez-Alegria took turns jetting over and around space shuttle Discovery's payload bay to test the small nitrogen-powered rocket backpack that could someday save an astronaut's life.

They were on a leash the whole time. But it was a loose leash.

"Jeff, what's it like being a satellite?" one of the astronauts inside Discovery asked as Wisoff propelled himself 240 miles above Earth. "Pretty awesome," Wisoff replied. Later he murmured: "Like falling in love."


Father tossed infant out window

A man threw his 3-month-old son out a 15th-floor window minutes after his estranged wife called police to say he had violated an order of protection, authorities said.

The couple had been arguing over a visitation schedule regarding the infant when the woman made the call early Tuesday morning, police said.

A responding police officer saw the baby's body in a grassy area and summoned an ambulance. The baby, Kharle Slade, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Derek Slade, 30, was arrested at the home. Later Tuesday, he was charged with second-degree murder and was ordered held without bail.


Video game crackdown postponed

Kids who enjoy mutilating and maiming video game monsters will be able to do it for a while longer. The city on Wednesday was ordered to hold off enforcement, temporarily at least, of its ordinance against children under 18 using violent or sexually explicit coin-operated video games.

The video game industry asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to issue the stay after a federal judge last week ruled the ban on violent games was legal.

The ordinance, believed to be the first of its kind, requires coin-operated games featuring graphic violence or strong sexual content to have warning labels and to be kept at least 10 feet from non-offending game machines. They must also be separated by a curtain or wall so minors cannot see them.

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