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POSTED April 4, 2013 10:23 p.m.

VT. JUDGE TELLS DEFENDANT TO CHANGE T-SHIRT: ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont judge refused to arraign a domestic violence suspect until he changed his shirt, which had the words: "I bust mine to kick yours."

Caledonia Superior Court Judge Mary Miles Teachout told Christopher Bryant on Wednesday she wasn't going ahead with the arraignment until he changed the shirt. She then left the courtroom.

Public defender Doug Willey then took of his suit jacket and put it on his client backward to cover the shirt.

Bryant, who is 28 and from St. Johnsbury, remained covered by Willey's coat for the arraignment in which he pleaded not guilty. He was charged with unlawful restraint, domestic assault and other charges stemming from a confrontation with his girlfriend.

MASS. BOY IN DANGER OF LOSING ARM AFTER DOG BITE: WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Authorities say an 8-year-old Massachusetts boy is in danger of losing his arm after being bitten by the family dog.

Police say the Westfield boy was taken to a Westfield hospital after being bitten Tuesday afternoon, then was transported to a Springfield hospital for additional surgery in an attempt to save the arm, which suffered damage to the brachial artery.

Animal control officer Kenneth Frazer says the boy's parents told him that doctors are not sure the arm can be saved.

The Westfield News reports that the boy was bitten on the upper arm as he was letting the 3-year-old American bulldog in the house.

The boy's father said the dog has "territorial issues" and asked that it be removed from his home and euthanized.

CONCERNS AROSE BEFORE BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT SIGN FELL: BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Birmingham Airport Authority officials say concerns about flight information displays arose before one of the massive signs toppled onto a family and killed a 10-year-old boy.

Al Denson, CEO of the Airport Authority, says he learned Tuesday that some contractors and construction workers had serious concerns about the 300-pound monitors before one fell over and killed Luke Bresette, of Overland Park, Kan. His mother and siblings were also crushed and hospitalized.

Thee Airport Authority met in a closed session Thursday and afterward, Denson said two more displays had been removed from the airport until a structural engineer could review associated safety measures.

IOWA COUPLE FIRST TO MARRY AT VEGAS DENNY'S CHAPEL: LAS VEGAS (AP) — An Iowa couple has become the first to get married at the Denny's wedding chapel in Las Vegas.

Nancy Levandowski and Steve Keller tied the knot Wednesday evening, while some well-wishers sat in booths and restaurant patrons ate dinner nearby.

The 53-year-old bride is the food service director at Iowa State University in Ames, while her 54-year-old husband is a salesman for a food company.

Nancy Levandowski says she often ate at Denny's restaurants during college, while Keller says he frequents the 24-hour pancake house while traveling.

The couple was selected from a pool of applicants vying to be the first married at the chapel inside the new restaurant.

Ceremonies at the chapel start at $95, which includes Denny's T-shirts and a Pancake Puppies wedding cake.

ALA. LEGISLATURE VOTES TO PARDON SCOTTSBORO BOYS: MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Opening a final chapter to one of the most important civil rights episodes in American history, Alabama lawmakers voted Thursday to allow posthumous pardons for the "Scottsboro Boys": nine black teens who were wrongly convicted of raping two white women more than 80 years ago.

The bill setting up a procedure to pardon the group must be signed by Gov. Robert Bentley to become law. He plans to study the legislation but has said he favors the pardons.

All but the youngest member of the group, whose ages ranged from 13 to 19, were imprisoned on death row after false accusations from the women and convictions by all-white juries. All were eventually freed without executions, although several suffered for many years in prison.

One, Haywood Paterson, escaped. While a fugitive, he helped publish a book about the case. Patterson was captured soon after, but the governor of Michigan refused his extradition to Alabama in 1950.

Over time, the case became a symbol of the tragedies wrought by racial injustice. It inspired popular songs, books and films. A Broadway musical was staged in 2010, the same year a museum dedicated to the case opened in Scottsboro.

CORNELL WRESTLER CHARGED WITH RAPING WOMAN : ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) — A Cornell University wrestler accused of raping another student as she slept was arrested after the victim's companion snapped pictures of the young man lying on the bed, his pants partway down, and then looked his name up on the athletic department website, police say.

Peter Mesko, 22, of Honesdale, Pa., was charged Tuesday with first-degree rape in an attack police said took place off campus early Saturday. The Ivy Leaguer was freed on $5,000 bail.

According to court papers, two women who described themselves as partners told police they were asleep in a bedroom around 4:45 a.m. when one awoke to find a stranger raping her. The women shoved him off and ran from the room.

Investigators said the victim's partner went back and took two pictures of the man. The two women then dashed from the building and used the pictures to identify Mesko by going online, authorities said.

The Cornell website said Mesko is a senior in the school of agriculture who took third place in a New York State intercollegiate wrestling tournament last year.

SOLDIER CHARGED WITH MURDER IN FORT KNOX SHOOTING : LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A soldier apprehended Thursday in Tennessee was charged with murder in the shooting death of a civilian employee at Kentucky's Fort Knox a day earlier.

The FBI said in a court filing that Marquinta E. Jacobs fired a .45-caliber handgun at the victim, "striking him several times." Jacobs is charged with murder, according to the criminal complaint.

Jacobs is the soldier whom Army investigators said was apprehended Thursday in Portland, Tenn., FBI spokeswoman Mary Trotman said.

 

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