Wash. state Democrats to pay for manual recount
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington Democrats will pay for a second recount in the state's unsettled governor's race, hoping it will erase the 42-vote margin held by Republican Dino Rossi. The party also asked the state Supreme Court Friday to rule that all ballots be treated the same from county to county. That would mean considering some previously uncounted ballots, particularly in Democratic-leaning King County. The party's nominee, three-term Attorney General Christine Gregoire, praised the decision to seek a statewide recount. Gregoire, 57, best known for her successful battle with the tobacco industry, trailed Rossi, 45, a former state senator, by just 42 votes after a machine recount was certified earlier this week. Rossi won the initial vote count by 261 ballots, a margin so close it triggered the mandatory machine recount.
Woman puts father's ghost on eBay auction
HOBART, Ind. -- A woman's effort to assuage her 6-year-old son's fears of his grandfather's ghost by selling it on eBay has drawn more than 34 bids with a top offer of $78. Mary Anderson said she placed her father's "ghost" on the online auction site after her son, Collin, said he was afraid the ghost would return someday. Anderson said Collin has avoided going anywhere in the house alone since his grandfather died last year. In a description titled "This isn't a joke," Anderson told Collin's story on eBay: "I always thought it was just normal kid fears until a few months ago he told me why he was so scared. He told me 'Grandpa died here, and he was mean. His ghost is still around here!"'
Marital odds not good for N.Y. lottery winner
NEW YORK -- Money -- even $149 million -- can't buy you love. Juan Rodriguez, who collected the huge windfall in the Mega Millions lottery last month, is now on the outs with his wife, the New York Post reported Saturday. Iris Rodriguez wants a divorce from her husband of 17 years, and she filed the paperwork just 10 days after Juan bought the winning ticket on Nov. 19. Iris Rodriguez is seeking a portion of her husband's huge lottery check, the Post said. Rodriguez, 49, opted to take his winnings in a single lump-sum payment of $88.5 million before taxes.
San Diego mayor's inauguration delayed
SANTA ANA, Calif. -- A swearing-in ceremony for San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy was put on hold Friday until an appeals court can rule on a challenge to an election that was thrown into disarray by a write-in campaign. The presiding judge of the appeals panel said the court would need several days to rule on whether the San Diego County registrar of voters can certify the disputed results of the three-way race. That means there won't be a decision in time for Monday's scheduled swearing-in ceremony for Murphy. Under San Diego's bylaws, he will stay on as mayor until the issue is settled, said deputy city attorney Jim Chapin. Murphy finished with a 2,100-vote lead over the write-in candidacy of Councilwoman Donna Frye, a surf shop owner with wide appeal in a city beset by corruption allegations and a pension fund scandal.
Grandmother acquitted in dog mauling death
CLARION, Pa. -- A woman was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter, but convicted of two lesser counts, in the death of her 2-year-old granddaughter, who was mauled by two Rottweilers while visiting her home. Kathleen Hansen, 62, also was acquitted of reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child. She was convicted of two misdemeanors under the state's dangerous dog law, the most serious of which carries a five-year maximum prison sentence. Sentencing was set for January. Lily Krajewski, of Buffalo, N.Y., was attacked after the dogs escaped from their makeshift kennel in March 2003. Hansen testified she tried to fend off the dogs, but was overpowered.
-- From wire reports