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Nation in brief: Former pageant contender sues

From Wire Reports

LOS ANGELES – Former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean sued pageant officials Monday for libel, slander and religious discrimination, accusing them of telling her to stop mentioning God even before her controversial remarks against gay marriage.

Prejean sued California pageant executive director Keith Lewis and actress and former Miss USA Shanna Moakler, who was a co-director before resigning in protest of Prejean.

Prejean was fired in June by pageant officials who said she missed several scheduled appearances.

Her attorney, Chuck LiMandri, said that wasn’t true, and that Prejean was ousted because of controversial remarks in April during the Miss USA pageant that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Government to buy Flight 93 site

PITTSBURGH – The federal government will pay about $9.5 million to acquire land so the Flight 93 National Memorial can be built by the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Monday.

With the National Park Service reaching agreements with eight landowners, construction is expected to start in November, Salazar said.

Salazar called the site where the plane crashed hallowed ground and said the nation was “eternally grateful for the heroes of Flight 93.”

United Flight 93 was traveling from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco when it was diverted by hijackers. The official 9/11 Commission report said passengers tried to wrest control of the cockpit.

Suspect charged in bank heists

DENVER – A man suspected of being the “Shaggy Bandit,” accused of 17 bank heists in four states, has been charged with two counts of bank robbery.

Michael Kincade, 29, appeared Monday in federal court in Denver to hear the charges. Kincade’s suspected accomplice, 45-year-old Christopher Richardson, faces the same charges.

The pair are suspected in several robberies since June 24 in the Denver area, Flagstaff, Ariz., Albuquerque, N.M., and Hutchinson, Kan.

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