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Digest

At funerals, mourners say end killings

By TIMES WIRES
Published August 12, 2007


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NEWARK, N.J

Mourners shed tears and showed a resolve to end the city's deadly violence at funeral services Saturday for three college-age friends who were lined up against a schoolyard wall and killed by shots to the head.

Mayor Cory Booker was interrupted by applause at Metropolitan Baptist Church as he urged residents to help fight the city's alarming murder rate.

The slayings late on Aug. 4, plus an unrelated homicide soon afterward, brought the murder total for the year to 60. The city's murder rate has increased 50 percent in the last decade to a total of 106 last year.

Three people have been arrested in connection with the three slayings, two of them juveniles, and police on Saturday announced a warrant for a fourth person.

ST. JOSEPH, MO.

6 die in fire at home without smoke alarm

A fire broke out in a home without smoke detectors early Saturday, killing six members of a family, officials said. The father escaped by leaping out a second-story window and was being treated for injuries.

Bryan P. Riggs, 39, thought his wife and children were out of the four-bedroom, two-story home, relative Anthony Lopez said.

The victims were identified as Lisa Riggs, 38; her mother, Patricia Duryee, 61; brothers Kealan Riggs, 8; Tristan Riggs, 11; and Sean Fox, 16; and a cousin, Brandon Updegraff, 10, who was staying at the house for the night.

MINNEAPOLIS

Rain hampers search in bridge collapse

Divers looking for five people still missing since the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge were hampered Saturday because heavy rain had strengthened the current in the Mississippi River.

The delay came after a two-day period in which the divers recovered three bodies. That brought the confirmed death toll to eight.

WILKES-BARRE, PA.

Police say man attacks four grandmothers

A 41-year-old man stormed a beauty salon and bludgeoned four grandmothers with a hammer, fracturing one's skull, before making off with less than $90, police said.

Thomas Leyshon III, of Mountain Top, was arrested after a daylong manhunt Friday.

The women, aged 56 to 76, did not resist but were beaten anyway, witnesses said. At least one required surgery.

Elsewhere

HONOLULU: Hurricane Flossie became a Category 4 storm Saturday as it spun 1,000 miles south of Hawaii. The hurricane could pass by Hawaii late Tuesday or early Wednesday, forecasters said, but by then cooler waters should weaken it to a tropical storm.

LOS ANGELES: Federal regulators said Friday that they are pulling $200-million in funding from a troubled hospital that serves one of the city's poorest neighborhoods, forcing it to all but shut down. The decision came after the county-run Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital failed two federal inspections.

[Last modified August 12, 2007, 00:41:22]


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