Crack cocaine turns up in woman's wheelchair

Sunday, March 14, 2004

KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. -- A 96-year-old woman facing drug charges said she does not know how the crack cocaine deputies found on her got into her wheelchair. Julia Roberts was charged with possession of crack with intent to sell and deliver, and with possessing a crack pipe, sheriff's officials said. She was freed pending a hearing March 30. A search warrant for the arrest said it's the third time Cleveland County deputies have seized crack at the mobile home Roberts shared with her son. Harold Roberts, 61, was charged with possession of stolen goods. Harold Roberts' brother, James Roberts, 58, who lived nearby, was charged with possession of moonshine.

High-tech gear finds roof of East Coast water taxi

BALTIMORE -- A robotic video camera searching Baltimore Harbor for three people missing since a water taxi capsized last week has made what authorities called the most significant discovery yet -- the roof of the sunken vessel. Baltimore Fire Department chief William Goodwin said the discovery of the 25-by-8-foot roof near historic Fort McHenry got searchers going. "As long as progress continues, we continue," he said. The Seaport Taxi flipped over March 6 in a sudden storm with wind gusts up to 55 mph, sending all 25 people on board into chilly, choppy water. Three remained missing and two others died after they were rescued.

Two firefighters killed, 29 injured in church fire

PITTSBURGH -- Two firefighters were killed and 29 were injured Saturday when a church on fire collapsed as they tried to put out the flames, officials said. Five firefighters suffered serious or critical head and chest injuries when the roof of the Ebenezer Baptist Church collapsed Saturday morning, said a city official. Firefighters entered the building about an hour after the fire started to douse hot spots. The fire then "flashed over," engulfing the sanctuary, and the roof and steeple collapsed, trapping the firefighters, the official said.

Unitarian ministers bless same-sex marriages

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. -- Another 25 same-sex couples were married by Unitarian Universalist ministers here Saturday, even as prosecutors consider filing charges against the clergywomen. The Revs. Kay Greenleaf and Dawn Sangrey started performing gay marriages in New Paltz last week after a restraining order was issued to prevent village Mayor Jason West from doing so. West faces 19 misdemeanors and possible jail time for officiating at weddings Feb. 27 for couples who lacked a license. Ulster County District Attorney Donald Williams said last week the deciding factor is whether the weddings were simple religious ceremonies or an attempt to solemnize civil marriages without a license.

-- From wire reports

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