October 27, 2008 in Nation/World

Juror dismissed in Stevens trial

 

A federal judge on Sunday dismissed one of the jurors at Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens’ corruption trial after losing contact with the woman following her father’s death.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan plans to seat an alternate juror this morning and order the jury to start their deliberations over from the beginning, a setback for Stevens’ attempt to get a verdict before Alaskans vote on Election Day.

“I think we’ve been more than reasonable,” said Sullivan, who said court officials had not spoken with the juror since Friday despite repeated attempts to contact her.

Stevens is charged with lying on Senate financial disclosure documents to conceal $250,000 in home renovations and other gifts.

He has proclaimed his innocence. He is locked in a tight race with Democrat Mark Begich for his Senate seat, and had hoped for an acquittal before Election Day.

CHICAGO

Reward offered in Hudson case

Jennifer Hudson and her family offered a $100,000 reward Sunday for the safe return of her missing nephew, as investigators looked for forensic evidence near the home where her mother and brother were found shot to death.

Mourners dressed in their Sunday best milled outside the childhood home of the singer and Oscar-winning actress, along with investigators seeking clues to the whereabouts of 7-year-old Julian King, the son of Jennifer Hudson’s sister, Julia.

In a statement Sunday evening from publicist Lisa Kasteler, Jennifer Hudson appealed to the public for its help, offering the reward and asking that any information be given to Chicago police.

“Jennifer and her family appreciate the enormous amount of love, support and prayers they have received while she and her family try to cope with this tragedy and continue the search for Julian,” the statement said.

Chicago police ramped up search efforts for Julian around the Englewood neighborhood, where Hudson grew up, and transferred custody of a “person of interest” in the killings to state authorities.

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla.

Bee swarm kills dogs, hurts woman

A 70-year-old woman was injured and three dogs died after a swarm of bees terrorized a neighborhood in South Florida.

Authorities said crews removed 50 pounds of honeycomb from the side of a home in Palm Beach County after Friday’s attack. The hive has been contained.

The bees swarmed Nancy Hill and her two dogs. Hill was treated at a hospital, but the dogs died. The bees attacked two other dogs in the neighborhood, killing one.

Lab tests should determine whether the bees were Africanized bees, also known as killer bees. Their stings are no more potent than an ordinary bee’s, but they are far more aggressive and attack in swarms.

NEW YORK

Hundreds of guns traded for cash

Five Harlem churches collected hundreds of weapons this weekend – in exchange for cash.

Rifles, handguns and shotguns were handed over on Saturday, no questions asked. Each person who brought a firearm was handed a $200 bank card.

By late Saturday, more than 500 were collected.

It’s part of a program sponsored by the NYPD and the Manhattan district attorney’s office to remove weapons from city streets with recent spikes in violence.

Two weeks ago, churches in Brooklyn collected more than 400 firearms.

From wire reports


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