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Nation in brief

Prison escapee caught; attempted murder convict still missing

By wire services
Published November 18, 2005

FORT MADISON, Iowa - A convicted murderer who escaped from an Iowa prison this week by using a homemade grappling hook to scale a 30-foot limestone wall was captured Thursday in Illinois. A second inmate remained at large.

Martin Moon, 34, was caught after he was found sleeping in a stolen car in the town of Chester, near an Illinois prison. He told investigators he was on his way to Tennessee but gave no reason, authorities said.

Moon and Robert Joseph Legendre, 27, broke out of the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison on Monday night.

Based on Moon's account, police believe Moon and Legendre immediately split. A nationwide search was under way for Legendre, who was in prison for attempted murder. The Associated Press, relying on information from the Iowa Corrections Department, erroneously described both escaped convicts as convicted murderers in earlier articles.

As deadline looms, FEMA promises housing solution

HOUSTON - Federal and state officials tried to ease fears Thursday that thousands of Louisiana hurricane evacuees in Texas would be left homeless again after Dec. 1 when FEMA has said it will stop paying their hotel and motel bills.

"We are finding longer-term housing for all evacuees," said Russ Knocke, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security.

Houston Mayor Bill White, in an angry letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, said the deadline was unreasonable given the huge numbers of evacuees still in hotels. He also said that the requirement that evacuees be moved to apartments with three-month leases - a rare find - was never part of the city's negotiations with the federal government.

White spokesman Pat Trahan said the mayor talked Thursday with Michael Jackson, a Homeland Security deputy secretary, who appeared to be receptive to White's requests for time extensions.

[Last modified November 18, 2005, 01:29:09]


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