Nation in brief: LA mayor picks new police chief

Los Angeles – A respected Los Angeles Police Department veteran credited with cleaning up a devastating corruption scandal was picked by the mayor Tuesday to become the next police chief of the nation’s second-largest city.

Charlie Beck, 56, went to work for the LAPD as a reserve officer in 1975 and rose through the ranks to become deputy chief three years ago. He currently is in charge of detectives, where he has overseen high-profile cases including the investigation of Michael Jackson’s death.

Justice of peace steps down

Baton Rouge, La. – A Louisiana justice of the peace who refused to marry a couple because the bride was white and groom was black resigned Tuesday, after weeks of refusing to step down despite calls for his ouster from officials including the governor.

Gov. Bobby Jindal called Keith Bardwell’s resignation “long overdue.”

Bardwell, who is white, refused to marry Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay.

When questioned, Bardwell acknowledged he routinely avoids marrying interracial couples because he believes children born to them end up suffering.

Town sets rules on cat ownership

Dudley, Mass. – A Massachusetts town has made it illegal to own more than three cats without getting a special license.

Voters at a town meeting in Dudley added language to a town bylaw on Monday night that makes it illegal to own more than three cats without a $50 residential kennel license.

The article was in response to a neighborhood feud over the 15 cats owned by Mary Ellen Richards.

The Telegram & Gazette of Worcester reports that one neighbor claimed the cats have ruined his yard.

Richards has put her home up for sale and says she plans to move to a “more cat-friendly community.”


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