THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2008

Nation in brief: Man arrested in Florida fire

Authorities arrested a man they say was seen throwing a Molotov cocktail into the woods Wednesday in this Atlantic coast town, where several homes have been gutted by wildfires this week.

Officials questioned Brian Crowder, who authorities allege set a small blaze that was quickly extinguished. They also asked the 31-year-old about larger wildfires that have found ample fuel in developments in the region, blazes he denied involvement with.

Palm Bay Police Chief Bill Berger said he believed there was a “good possibility” Crowder would be charged with starting a small fire.

Records show that Crowder has drug, burglary and automobile theft convictions dating to 1996. He was charged Wednesday with six probation violations.

Since the fires began Sunday, about 20 homes have been destroyed and 140 other structures damaged.

Columbus, Ohio

Ohio’s top lawyer quits over scandal

Ohio’s attorney general resigned Wednesday under threat of impeachment because of a sexual harassment investigation in his office and his extramarital affair.

Attorney General Marc Dann, a Democrat elected in 2006 on an anti-corruption platform, said at a news conference that he had to resign to preserve the ability of the office to carry out the priorities he established.

Dann, 46, admitted May 2 to an extramarital affair with an employee that he said contributed to an atmosphere leading to sexual harassment claims against a top aide.

Three aides were forced out in the harassment investigation, which showed managers encouraged a casual work environment with frequent profanity and inappropriate interactions with subordinates.

Bordentown, N.J.

Woman falls from cruise ship

A woman taking a cruise with her boyfriend plunged into the sea off New Jersey from a balcony attached to her room, and the FBI is investigating whether a crime occurred.

Norwegian Cruise Line said it appeared that Mindy Jordan, a slight 46-year-old nurse from Pine Hill, fell Sunday as she tried to reach from one balcony to another on a windy night. The Miami-based cruise line said Wednesday that surveillance cameras aboard the Norwegian Dawn captured her fall and indicated she was alone just beforehand.

Jordan’s relatives asked authorities for a full investigation. They say they had previously encouraged Jordan to contact authorities about the way her boyfriend treated her.

The ship had left New York just two hours before Jordan fell. It continued on to Bermuda, arriving Wednesday. The boyfriend remained on the cruise ship and was not available for comment; he has not been charged with a crime.


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