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Nation in brief: House OKs guns on campuses

Fri., March 14, 2008

The state House agreed Thursday to allow people with specialized firearms training, such as military personnel, to carry concealed weapons on the state’s college campuses, despite opponents who said it made no sense following shootings at schools across the country.

The measure was approved 65-36, and now heads to the state Senate for a vote.

Introduced by Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, the law would authorize active-duty military and National Guard and reserve personnel, honorably discharged veterans and others with firearms training certified by the Council on Law Enforcement Education who hold a state concealed weapons license to carry guns on college and university campuses.

“This has to be the craziest thing I have ever seen,” said Rep. Ray McCarter, D-Marlow, one of several lawmakers who said the measure is opposed by college administrators.

Providence, R.I.

Track inspectors hit by Amtrak train

An Amtrak express train struck three workers inspecting the tracks, killing one, just outside a downtown station on Thursday.

The northbound train was traveling below the area’s 55 mph speed limit when it hit two Amtrak workers and a contractor, the railroad said.

No information was available on the person who was killed. The injured workers were sent to a hospital and appeared to have serious injuries.

None of the 168 people on the train traveling from Washington, D.C., to Boston was injured.

Roger Kay, a passenger on the five-car train, said it was traveling slowly after leaving the station when it hit the workers. “I think they had been hitting the horn and trying to slow down,” Kay said in a phone interview from the train. “They weren’t even going that fast, so there wasn’t that abrupt of a stop.”

New York

Actress’s killer sentenced to prison

A construction worker who admitted strangling an actress and then hanging her body to make it look like a suicide was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday.

Diego Pillco, a 20-year-old illegal immigrant from Ecuador, had pleaded guilty in February to first-degree manslaughter in exchange for the sentence.

Pillco, who was doing interior renovations in the Manhattan building where Adrienne Shelly had an apartment she used as an office, admitted he killed the “Factotum” actress after she found him trying to steal from her purse. He said he then hanged Shelly to make her death look like a suicide.

“I want to say to the family I didn’t go out with the intention of hurting anyone,” Pillco said just before the state trial judge imposed the sentence. “I have suffered because I know what I have done.”


Lawmakers ban use of trans fats

Boston has joined others cities in banning artery-clogging trans fats from food served in restaurants and grocery stores.

Businesses, as well as schools and hospitals, will have to stop using oils and spreads that contain trans fats. Prepackaged foods such as a bag of chips or cookies won’t be included.

The city Public Health Commission approved the ban unanimously Thursday. Fines would be up to $1,000 per violation.

New York and Philadelphia have similar bans. Also known as partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats extend a food’s shelf life and enhance flavor.


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