Nation briefs 12/9/03

Tuesday, December 9, 2003

New Jersey holds first bear hunt in 33 years

VERNON, N.J. -- Slogging through a foot of snow left by a weekend blizzard, hunters ventured into the woods on Monday in New Jersey's first bear hunt in 33 years, prompted by a rising number of complaints about the animals breaking into suburban homes and raiding trash cans. Hunters bagged at least 40 bears by the afternoon, the largest a 225-pound female, the state Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife said. About two dozen protesters rallied near a weigh station at Wawayanda State Park, chanting, "Stop the slaughter, save the bears." The hunting season will last six days.

New Oklahoma City federal building opens

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A new Oklahoma City federal building with shatterproof glass, a steel-plated main entrance and concrete plugs outside opened on Monday, 8 1/2 years after the prior building was destroyed by a truck bomb driven by Timothy McVeigh on April 19, 1995. The bombing killed 168 people. The building is kitty-corner from the site where the Alfred P. Murrah Building once stood and a block from the memorial to the dead. Eleven agencies are scheduled to move in over the next several months.

Janklow resigns after manslaughter conviction

FLANDREAU, S.D. -- Rep. Bill Janklow, a dominating figure in South Dakota politics for nearly 30 years, was convicted of man-slaughter Monday for speeding through a stop sign at a rural intersection and colliding with a motorcyclist. Janklow quickly announced that he will resign from Congress. The resignation is effective Jan. 20, the same date Janklow is scheduled to be sentenced. He could get up to 10 years in prison. A jury in the congressman's boyhood hometown convicted Janklow of second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving, running a stop sign and speeding for the Aug. 16 crash that killed Randy Scott, 55, a farmer from Hardwick, Minn.

Malvo violence inflicted on cats in earlier years

CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- As a child, sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo hunted and killed cats with a slingshot, one of the first signs of emotional problems in an otherwise "strikingly obedient child," a psychologist testified Monday. Malvo once had a pet cat but grew to hate cats, said psychologist Dewey Cornell, who has interviewed Malvo 21 times since February. Cornell said Malvo's mother, Una James, would beat the boy because the pet cat would sleep in Malvo's bed and soil the sheets. Malvo's attorneys are trying to convince the jury that his participation in the attacks that killed 10 in the Washington, D.C., area in October 2002 amounted to legal insanity -- that Malvo was so indoctrinated by Muhammad that he was unable to discern right from wrong.

Drivers ed classes teach about organ donation

AMELIA, Va. -- Some teenagers getting behind the wheel are getting a lesson in life and death. More and more, states are teaching students in drivers education classes how they can become organ and tissue donors. The Department of Health and Human Services recently allocated $24.8 million annually in part to establish a national curriculum for school districts that choose to teach about organ donation. About 25 percent of drivers nationwide designate organ donation on their licenses, said Dena Reynolds of LifeNet, a Virginia organ procurement agency.

-- From wire reports

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