Archive for Friday, March 2, 2001

National briefs

March 2, 2001



Reparations urged for 1921 Tulsa race riot

A state commission has recommended that reparations be paid for the 1921 Tulsa race riot, one of the worst racial clashes in U.S. history.

The Tulsa Race Riot Commission presented its final report Wednesday to Gov. Frank Keating and state lawmakers, saying reparations "will stand as symbols that fully acknowledge and finally discharge a collective responsibility."

As many as 300 people may have been killed during the riots that began when a white lynch mob exchanged gunfire with a group of blacks who sought to protect a shoeshiner accused of assaulting a white woman.

By the next day, the entire black business district known as Greenwood had been torched. Black churches, businesses and more than 1,200 homes lay in ruins. Blacks fled or were herded into detainment centers. The commission said the exact death toll will never be known.


Escaped inmates recaptured

Two inmates, including one serving a life sentence for murder, escaped from prison after cutting a hole in a perimeter fence.

The murderer was captured Thursday morning by the Fort Hall Tribal Police Department near Pocatello, Idaho, after a confrontation with a homeowner. Lee John Knoch was being held in Idaho until extradition proceedings can be held on returning him to Oregon.

The second inmate, a convicted rapist, was captured on roads near the Snake River Correctional Institution just after the Wednesday escape, said Perrin Damon, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Correction.

Knoch, 23, was convicted in 1998 of burying alive a man who was to testify against him. He was serving a life sentence without parole. The other inmate, Aaron O'Hara, 23, was serving a six-year sentence for sodomy, sex abuse and two counts of rape.


Airline aims to stop mechanics' slowdown

American Airlines said it went to court to try to stop a work slowdown that forced it to cancel at least 28 flights in and out of Kennedy Airport on Thursday, but a union denied orchestrating a slowdown.

American's lawyers filed a request for a temporary restraining order against the Transport Workers Union in federal court, the airline said. The airline alleges some mechanics represented by the union have grounded flights by falsifying safety reports.

Dean Levere, a representative of TWU Local 562, said the union had nothing to do with any slowdown.

"The union did not condone or promote any slowdown or job action," Levere said. He said union officials had talked to workers and concluded there were no problems with the planes for the canceled flights.

The airline has been negotiating since October with the mechanics and airport ground workers. The contract became eligible for revisions on Thursday.


Attorney enters innocent plea for O.J.

An attorney for O.J. Simpson filed an innocent plea for him on charges that he pulled off the glasses of a motorist during a traffic altercation.

Simpson is charged with felony auto burglary and misdemeanor battery and is free on $9,000 bond. Motorist Jeffrey Pattinson told police that on Dec. 4 he slammed on his brakes and honked his horn at a black Lincoln Navigator after he saw the SUV drive past a stop sign in suburban Kendall, where Simpson now lives.

The Navigator stopped, Simpson got out, argued with Pattinson briefly and scratched him when Simpson pulled off Pattinson's glasses, according to Pattinson's account. Simpson acknowledges the two men argued but denies any wrongdoing.

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