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In brief: Nevada bumps up caucuses

Mon., Oct. 3, 2011

RENO, Nev. – Nevada Republicans have decided to move up their presidential caucuses to stay ahead of Florida’s newly scheduled Jan. 31 primary, a move that will cost the state party half of its delegates to the GOP’s national convention.

Executive board members voted Saturday night in a special telephone conference meeting to hold the caucuses sometime in January instead of February, saying it was worth the price to have more influence on the nomination as an early voting state.

Nevada GOP national committeewoman Heidi Smith said Sunday that she was the lone dissenter in the vote to move up the caucuses from Feb. 18, when they had tentatively been scheduled.

But other board members thought it was more important to have the nation’s third presidential vote after Iowa and New Hampshire than to retain the state’s full slate of 28 national delegates.

McCullough accused of rape

SYCAMORE, Ill. – A 71-year-old Washington man accused in the 1957 kidnapping and killing of a 7-year-old Illinois girl has been charged in a separate case with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl from the same small town.

The Illinois State Police announced the grand jury indictment of Jack McCullough on Friday but didn’t say when the sexual assault happened. He was indicted this summer on felony murder, kidnapping and abduction charges in the death of Maria Ridulph of Sycamore.

McCullough was arrested in Seattle in July. He has been held on $3 million bail in a jail about 65 miles west of Chicago.

The alleged victim told investigators McCullough raped her when she was 14 in Sycamore, prosecutors and state police said.

He’s now also charged with one count of child sexual assault and four counts of indecent liberties with a child.

Sesame CEO to head NPR

WASHINGTON – The man who helped bring “Sesame Street” to a global audience for the past 11 years will take over as president and CEO of NPR, the public radio network announced Sunday.

Gary Knell, the longtime president and CEO of Sesame Workshop, will start at NPR on Dec. 1.

Knell succeeds Vivian Schiller, who resigned under pressure in March after a former NPR fundraiser was caught on camera calling the tea party racist.

The episode led some conservatives to call for an end to federal funding for NPR, but Congress ultimately retained the funds as part of a budget deal in April.

Schiller was also criticized for firing analyst Juan Williams over comments he made about Muslims.

Law bars circumcision bans

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California’s governor has signed a bill that that will prevent local governments from banning male circumcision.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s office announced Sunday that the Democrat signed AB768, a bill written in response to a ballot measure proposed in San Francisco.

Backers of a ban collected more than 7,700 signatures to put a measure on the November ballot in San Francisco to outlaw the circumcision of most male children. That effort was later blocked by a judge.

They had argued that circumcision is an unnecessary surgery that can lead to sexual and health problems later in life.

Those against the ban say that it is an important religious practice for many Jews and Muslims, and that it can reduce the risk of cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.


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