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Nation in brief: ACORN workers accused of fraud


MADISON, Wis. – Two former ACORN workers are accused of repeatedly trying to register the same voters during a Milwaukee drive to meet quotas set by the organization.

Maria Miles and Kevin Clancy were charged Monday with falsely procuring voter registration as a party to the crime during the 2008 campaign.

The criminal complaint says the 36-year-old Miles and 26-year-old Clancy acknowledged signing or trying to sign up the same people multiple times.

ACORN, which stands for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has been dogged nationally by allegations of voter-registration fraud.

Owner charged in crane collapse

NEW YORK – A construction crane owner got a bargain-basement repair job on a giant rig, which fell apart and killed two workers when the fix failed, prosecutors said Monday in announcing manslaughter charges against the owner and a former mechanic.

The owner, James Lomma, and mechanic Tibor Varganyi hired a company over the Internet to weld a critical component, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office said. Lomma and Varganyi didn’t follow rules intended to ensure the repair was solid – even after the company they hired warned it wasn’t confident about the weld, prosecutors said. The weld failed after a month of use, sending pieces of the 200-foot-tall crane crashing onto an apartment building in 2008.

Killer’s execution after overdose

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Gov. Ted Strickland on Monday postponed the execution of a convicted killer who managed to take an overdose of pills in his death row cell and was found unconscious just hours before he was to be driven to his execution.

Lawrence Reynolds Jr., 43, who was sentenced to die for killing his neighbor in 1994, was found unconscious around 11:30 p.m. Sunday at the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown, prisons spokeswoman Julie Walburn said.

Strickland issued a seven-day reprieve and rescheduled the execution for March 16.

Supercentenarians die on same day

WESTMORELAND, N.H. – Two of the oldest people in the world have died on the same day.

Mary Josephine Ray, who was certified as the oldest person living in the United States, died Sunday at age 114 years, 294 days. She died at a nursing home in Westmoreland but was active until about two weeks before her death, her granddaughter Katherine Ray said.

“She just enjoyed life. She never thought of dying at all,” Katherine Ray said.

Ray died just hours before Daisey Bailey, who was 113 years, 342 days, said L. Stephen Coles, a director of the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks and studies old people and certifies those 110 or older.

Bailey died in Detroit, Coles said.


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