In brief: Governor’s wife files for divorce
Charleston, S.C.– South Carolina’s first lady, a former Wall Street vice president who helped launch her husband’s political career, filed for divorce Friday more than five months after his tearful public confession of an affair with an Argentine woman.
“This came after many unsuccessful efforts at reconciliation, yet I am still dedicated to keeping the process that lies ahead peaceful for our family,” Jenny Sanford said in a statement.
The governor blamed himself and said he and Jenny will “work earnestly to be the best mom and dad we can be to four of the finest boys on Earth.”
Court halts cuts to ACORN funding
New York – The U.S. government’s move this fall to cut off funding to ACORN was unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Friday, handing the embattled group a legal victory.
U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon issued the preliminary injunction against the government, saying it’s in the public’s interest for the organization to continue receiving federal funding.
ACORN claimed in its lawsuit that Congress’ decision to cut off its funding was unconstitutional because it punitively targeted an individual organization.
ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, describes itself as an advocate for low-income and minority homebuyers and residents in communities served by its offices around the country. Critics say it has violated the tax-exempt status of some of its affiliates by engaging in partisan political activities.
The law that halted ACORN’s federal funding took effect Oct. 1 and was extended Oct. 31. It was set to either expire or be extended again on Dec. 18.
Elderly woman is murder suspect
New Bedford, Mass. – A 98-year-old woman was indicted Friday on a second-degree murder charge that alleges she strangled her 100-year-old nursing home roommate after making the victim’s life “a living hell” because she thought the woman was “taking over the room.”
Laura Lundquist was sent to a state mental hospital for a competency evaluation before her arraignment. Her defense attorney, Carl Levin, said she has a “long-standing diagnosis of dementia, as well as issues of cognitive impairment.”
She is believed to be the oldest murder defendant in state history, but might never go to trial because of her mental health issues.
Her roommate at the Brandon Woods nursing home in Dartmouth, Elizabeth Barrow, was found dead in her bed Sept. 24 with a plastic bag tied around her head. Police initially speculated it was a suicide, but a medical examiner ruled it a homicide after an autopsy indicated strangulation.