April 26, 2005 in Nation/World

14 indictments in mob killings

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review
 
The Spokesman-Review photo

Nicole and Jonah Payne
(Full-size photo)

Chicago Fourteen reputed Chicago mob figures were indicted Monday on charges of plotting at least 18 murders including the 1986 slaying of the crime organization’s top man in Las Vegas, Tony “The Ant” Spilotro, who was buried alive in a cornfield.

Those indicted include 63-year- old James Marcello, who the FBI says is head of the mob; and Joey “The Clown” Lombardo, 75, alleged to be a top leader of organized crime in Chicago.

Spilotro, a mob enforcer, ruled Las Vegas in the 1970s and 1980s. The bodies of Spilotro, 48, and his brother Michael, 41, were found buried in an Indiana field.

Prep school averts sexual abuse trial

Cambridge, Mass. The elite Groton School pleaded guilty Monday to failing to report students’ sexual abuse complaints to the state.

Groton officials entered the plea on the day the case was to go to trial. The school, about 40 miles northwest of Boston, was fined $1,250 and avoided a public airing of damaging testimony.

The probe began in 1999 after parents of one student told school administrators he’d been sexually assaulted by a group of older male students. Another student later came forward to say he’d also been abused by fellow students.

School officials said the student in question didn’t provide enough information to make a report.

Toddlers found dead in algae-covered pond

Warrenton, Ga. Two toddlers reported missing from their home over the weekend were found dead in an algae-covered sewage pond a few hundred yards away Monday after a two-day search.

The cause of death was not immediately disclosed. Officials said it was not known if the youngsters were victims of foul play. Autopsies were planned.

Nicole Payne, 2, and her brother Jonah, 3, were reported missing Saturday from their lakeside house about 100 miles east of Atlanta. The children’s mother called authorities to report the toddlers vanished after she went into another room. Police said she found the front door open and the children gone.

Texas House approves marriage amendment

Austin, Texas House lawmakers on Monday approved a constitutional amendment to ban gay couples from marrying.

To become law, it has to be approved by the Senate and Texas voters.

The measure is intended to head off possible challenges to an existing state law that prohibits same-sex marriages.

If approved, Texas would join 14 states that ban same-sex marriage through both law and their constitutions.

The passage comes less than a week after the House approved legislation to ban same-sex couples from being foster parents.

Wild mustangs killed, but 52 others saved

Washington Thirty-five more wild horses rounded up in the West were slaughtered Monday, but the Interior Department acted quickly to save the lives of 52 other mustangs by enlisting last-minute financial help from Mustang sports car maker Ford Motor Co.

The horses came from a broker who obtained them from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. The tribe traded 87 of the 105 aging horses it bought from the government for younger ones. Interior officials said they would review the arrangement.

The killings bring to 41 the number slaughtered since Congress removed protections for mustangs in December.


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