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POSTED February 22, 2013 9:24 p.m.

Booed soldier joins Ohio same-sex marriage effort

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A gay U.S. soldier who was booed during a Republican presidential debate in 2011 has joined the effort to overturn Ohio's ban on same-sex marriage.

Leaders of pro-gay-marriage group FreedomOhio said Friday that Columbus resident Stephen Snyder-Hill will help lead outreach efforts.

Snyder-Hill asked the GOP candidates in 2011 if they would reinstate the ban on openly gay troops. He was booed for the question, which he recorded while deployed in Iraq.

FreedomOhio wants to overturn the 2004 state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Supporters started collecting signatures last year to place their own constitutional amendment on the ballot by 2014.

160 years for bus driver who abused NH, Maine kids

LACONIA, N.H. (AP) — A bus driver who admits sexually assaulting and videotaping the special needs children he transported in New Hampshire and Maine has been sentenced to 160 years in prison.

Forty-six-year-old Milton, N.H., resident John Wright received the maximum sentence Friday after pleading guilty in September to five counts of sexually exploiting children and one count of possessing child pornography.

Investigators say Wright drove special needs children from Strafford and Rockingham counties in New Hampshire and from nearby Kittery, Maine. They say they found thousands of images of child pornography on his computer.

U.S. Attorney John Kacavas say some of the children were completely non-verbal and others had a variety of disabilities. He says it's beyond his capacity to achieve justice for the young victims despite Wright's long sentence.

San Diego sheriff wants common sense in gun talks

 

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Just hours after two of his deputies were shot, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore called for universal background checks for guns and improved mental health care.

"I'm just tired of going to hospitals in San Diego County to see if my deputies are going to live or die," Gore said. "What's it going to take in this county — what's it going to take in this country — before we start addressing some of this senseless violence that we see out there?"

There needs to be a national debate on what needs to be done to control gun violence through "common sense solutions" like universal background checks and improved mental health care, he said.

On Thursday, a man who was recently determined to be suicidal shot two deputies, then turned the gun on himself, bringing a 10-hour standoff to a close.

COLO. TEEN HEARD ON 911 CALL SAYING HE KILLED GIRL : GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado teenager who is now 18 told a 911 dispatcher last fall that he kidnapped and killed a missing suburban Denver school girl and hid her remains in a crawl space at his mother's home, according to a recording played by a prosecutor in court Friday.

The recording was played at a preliminary hearing at which a judge decided there's enough evidence for Austin Sigg to stand trial in both the death of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway and an attack on a jogger at nearby Ketner Lake in May.

Westminster police Detective Michael Lynch testified at the hearing that Sigg first confessed to his mother, telling her that he kidnapped Jessica as she walked past his car, bound her arms and her legs, placed her in the back seat, drove around for a little bit, then took her to his house.

He had Jessica change clothes and tried to strangle her, first with zip ties and later with his hands, Lynch testified. He then took the girl's body to a bathtub where he dismembered her using a saw, he said.

Prosecutors have added three counts of sexual exploitation of a child because child pornography was allegedly found during the investigation.

 

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