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In brief: Dead man in jail was rape suspect

SEATTLE – A dead King County jail inmate has reportedly been identified as a defendant in a rape trial. quoted unnamed police sources saying the inmate is 36-year-old Franklin D. Antill, also known as Sankarandi Skanda.

The inmate was found dead in his cell Friday. An autopsy is pending, but Maj. William Hayes said it appeared to be a suicide. An investigation is planned.

Antill was charged with breaking into a Seattle home on Oct. 20 and robbing and raping a 35-year-old woman at knifepoint as her children were sleeping. He was set to testify today in Superior Court.

He claimed he and the woman had been having an affair and that he was a “religious doctor” who was attempting to found a church called “Temple of Love.”

Girl electrocuted watching fireworks

MISSOULA – An 8-year-old Missoula-area girl was accidentally electrocuted and two other children were injured while watching a fireworks show Saturday night from the roof of a church in Missoula.

Missoula County Sheriff Mike McMeekin said several people were on the roof of the Midtown Church on South Avenue to watch the annual Southgate Mall fireworks show.

The children climbed onto some air-conditioning equipment, where the 8-year-old girl received a fatal shock. Two other children attempted to pull the injured girl away and were injured.

Adults rushed the children to Missoula Community Medical Center, where the girl was pronounced dead.

Montana to seek bids for planned coal mine

LAME DEER, Mont. – Montana officials are on track to seek bids this fall to mine a massive reserve of state-owned coal near the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation – a deposit with enough fuel to power the country for a year.

Experts describe the Otter Creek reserve as world class: more than 1.2 billion tons of coal massed beneath the rolling hills of the Powder River Basin near Ashland.

Supporters of mining say it could bring hundreds of jobs to the impoverished Northern Cheyenne.

City reviewing bike share program

PORTLAND – Once again Portland, is considering a bicycle sharing program, this time with user fees and better bikes.

The idea is that users swipe a credit or membership card at a kiosk to receive a bicycle. The two-wheeler could be returned to any bicycle kiosk in town, much like a luggage cart at the airport.

Portland’s free bicycle sharing program in the 1990s collapsed because of theft and vandalism – and the bikes were clunkers. This time, the bikes would be of higher quality, said Steve Hoyt-McBeth, a transportation program manager.

The only U.S. bike-sharing program is in Washington, D.C., which has 100 bikes and plans to add another 900 starting this year. One in Paris has 21,000 bicycles and 150,000 subscribers a year.


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