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POSTED July 11, 2012 8:40 p.m.

MICH. WOMAN: I TENDED CORPSE, WATCHED NASCAR : JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A woman said she kept the dead body of her companion in a chair in their southern Michigan house for months because she didn't want to be alone.

Linda Chase, 72, said she kept the remains of Charles Zigler clean and dressed and talked to the body while watching NASCAR on television.

"It's not that I'm heartless. ... I didn't want to be alone. He was the only guy who was ever nice to me," Chase told the Jackson Citizen Patriot .

Jackson police discovered Zigler's body in a living room chair last week. Authorities believe he died of natural causes at age 67 in December 2010, although Chase said it was last December. She said there wasn't a bad smell.

She has not been arrested but is being investigated for financial fraud. Chase admits cashing Zigler's benefit checks after his death.

"I'm probably going to prison," she told the newspaper. "I told them the truth. I didn't lie about that."

Wally Zigler, 48, said his father worked in a machine shop and received Social Security, pension checks and veteran benefits. He said he tried to see his dad, but Chase wouldn't let him in the house.

"That wasn't right to leave him lay like that," Zigler said.

NYC MAN GETS 2 1/2 YEARS FOR ILLEGAL KIDNEY SALES: TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New York City man was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison Wednesday in what experts said was the first federal conviction for profiting from the illegal sale of human organs.

Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, and Israeli native who resides in Brooklyn, pleaded guilty in October to brokering three illegal kidney transplants for New Jersey-based customers in exchange for payments of $120,000 or more.

The 61-year-old showed little reaction to the sentence, handed down by U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson. He was swarmed by well-wishers who had packed the federal courtroom in Trenton to show their support.

Rosenbaum arrested in July 2009 in a sweeping federal case that became the largest corruption sting in New Jersey history.

Small rise in college completion for young adults
CHRISTINE ARMARIO,AP Education Writer

 

The percentage of young adults earning a college degree has increased slightly but still remains far below the level needed to reach the president's goal of having the U.S. rank first worldwide in college graduates.

Data being released by the Education Department on Thursday says 39.3 percent of adults ages 25 to 34 had earned an associate, bachelor's or graduate degree in 2010. That's a half-percentage point increase over the previous year.

Rising tuition costs is one of several reasons why more young adults aren't graduating from college.

In remarks to the National Governors Association on Friday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan is expected to urge states and institutions to help the federal government keep costs down. Tuition at four-year public universities increased 15 percent between 2008 and 2010, a rise driven largely by cuts to state funding. Forty states trimmed their higher education spending in the last year, the department said.

IN HISTORIC VISIT, CLINTON REACHES OUT TO LAOS: VIENTIANE, Laos (AP) — Decades after the U.S. gave Laos a horrific distinction as the world's most heavily bombed nation per person, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pledged Wednesday to help get rid of millions of unexploded bombs that still pockmark the impoverished country — and still kill.

The U.S. dropped more than 2 million tons of bombs on the North Vietnamese ally during its "secret war" between 1964 and 1973 — about a ton of ordnance for each Laotian man, woman and child. That exceeded the amount dropped on Germany and Japan together in World War II.

Four decades later, American weapons are still claiming lives. When the war ended, about a third of some 270 million cluster bombs dropped on Laos had failed to detonate. More than 20,000 people have been killed in Laos since then by ordnance, according to Laos' government, and agricultural development has been stymied.

LAWYER: W.VA. MAN DENIES ENSLAVING, TORTURING WIFE: LEROY, W.Va. (AP) — While her husband returned a rototiller to a West Virginia rental shop, a limping woman sneaked into another part of the building seeking help. Soon, she was at a shelter with a horrifying tale: She had been held hostage for the better part of a decade — beaten, burned and even shackled during childbirth.

Investigators said they have 45 photographs showing burns on her back and breasts from irons and frying pans, and scars on her wrists and ankles. Now her husband is in jail and authorities are investigating what Jackson County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Tony Boggs called one of the most terrible cases he's seen.

"This appears to go beyond abuse to what I would consider torture," he said Wednesday.

Authorities said Peter Lizon, 37, was in jail Wednesday on $300,000 bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Friday on a malicious wounding charge, they said.

The criminal complaint says 43-year-old Stephanie Lizon told another woman at a Parkersburg shelter that her husband smashed her foot with a piece of farm equipment, among other things.

FBI TO REVIEW LAB WORK ON THOUSANDS OF CONVICTIONS: WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department and the FBI will review thousands of criminal convictions from over a decade ago for possibly flawed analysis of hair sample evidence.

The department and the FBI are in the process of identifying historical cases for review where a microscopic hair examination conducted by the FBI was among the evidence in a case that resulted in a conviction, Justice Department spokeswoman Nanda Chitre said.

"We remain committed to working closely with our law enforcement partners to go through thousands of cases, all of which are more than a decade old, and to assemble evidence for purposes of conducting a thorough and meaningful review of convictions," Chitre added.

The review follows stories in The Washington Post about the department's flawed follow-up of potentially faulty lab analyses.

In April, the newspaper identified two men convicted largely on the testimony of FBI hair analysts who wrongly placed them at crime scenes. The government has moved to overturn the conviction of one of the men, who was convicted of a sexual assault. A judge has vacated the conviction of the other man, who was convicted of killing a taxi driver.

WASH. MAN PLEADS NOT GUILTY IN DEAD CAT CLAIM:  TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state man charged with insurance fraud after authorities say he used photos from the Internet to file a $20,000 insurance claim for a dead cat that didn't exist has pleaded not guilty.

KOMO News reports (http://bit.ly/Nhw5Ly) that during a court hearing Wednesday, a trial for 29-year-old Yevgeniy Samsonov of Tacoma was scheduled to begin in September.

Samsonov was involved in a minor traffic accident in 2009, and the other driver's insurer paid some $3,500 to cover chiropractic treatment. More than two years later, Samsonov claimed that his cat Tom had been killed in the crash, and he sought $20,000 in compensation.

Authorities say Samsonov submitted photos of a cat, but an insurance representative found that the pictures had come from the Internet.

If convicted, Samsonov could get a year behind bars.

 

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