In brief: Richard Rockefeller dies in plane crash

New York – A small plane crashed outside New York City on Friday, killing a great-grandson of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller, a family spokesman said.

The single-engine plane took off from Westchester County Airport just after 8 a.m. Friday and narrowly missed a house west of the airfield before hitting some trees, officials said.

Richard Rockefeller, of Falmouth, Maine, was the only person on board the Portland, Maine-registered aircraft. The 65-year-old was a doctor and father of two. He had recently been working on a way to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in wounded war veterans.

Rockefeller was a nephew of former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, who also was governor of New York from 1959 to 1973. On Thursday, Richard Rockefeller ate dinner with his father, banker and philanthropist David Rockefeller, in Westchester to celebrate the family patriarch’s 99th birthday.

Gay marriage delayed for state appeal

Madison, Wis. – A federal judge on Friday delayed gay marriage in Wisconsin to allow time for the state to seek an appeal of an earlier ruling that made it the 20th state in the nation to allow same-sex marriages.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb struck down the state’s 2006 ban on same-sex marriage. But she did not say in her ruling whether county clerks were allowed to issue marriage licenses.

The decision threw the state into confusion as most county clerks issued licenses and hundreds of couples married. But some clerks refused to issue licenses after state officials, including state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, warned that they considered such licenses to be illegal and that clerks could face prosecution if they issued them.

Judge threatens eviction of ‘free rider’ sect

Salt Lake City – A Utah judge said Friday that hundreds of people living in Warren Jeffs’ polygamous sect on the Utah-Arizona border who have collectively failed to pay millions in occupancy fees for their houses should be evicted.

State Judge Denise Lindberg said far too many have been ignoring the $100-a-month, per-house fee for too long and that “enough is enough.”

She suggested starting with a few homes, giving families notice that they must pay up or pack up.

“We have had a free rider problem here for a long time,” Lindberg said. “There needs to be action, or otherwise the law means nothing.”

Lindberg’s strong and surprising remarks came Friday during a hearing in a Salt Lake City courtroom to address progress toward formation of a board that will oversee the redistribution of 750 homes in Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah. The homes have been in state control since 2005 due to allegations of mismanagement by Jeffs and other sect leaders.


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