BY Wire reports
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
4/10/12 at 2:37 AM
2 firefighters die in blaze at abandoned warehouse
PHILADELPHIA - Two firefighters who were battling a massive blaze at an abandoned warehouse Monday were killed when an adjacent furniture store they were inspecting collapsed, burying them in a pile of debris, authorities said.
Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers identified the two as Lt. Robert Neary, 60, and firefighter Daniel Sweeney, 25. Two other firefighters were rescued in the blaze in the city's Kensington section.
Prosecutors detain victimto solidify rape case
SACRAMENTO, Calif - Sacramento County prosecutors have taken the unusual step of detaining an alleged teenage rape victim, despite concerns the decision could discourage future victims from reporting sexual assaults.
The 17-year-old foster child is considered a key witness against a man prosecutors say is a career criminal and serial rapist. The girl has been in juvenile hall since March 23 to ensure she appears at the trial of Frank Rackley Sr., who is 37.
Assistant District Attorney Albert Locher said Monday that the greater good is served by making sure Rackley is convicted. He says prosecutors took the rare step because "there is a public danger that has to be balanced here."
Attorney Lisa Franco says her client is being treated like a criminal, "sending a chilling effect" to other rape victims.
Maryland winner claims share of $656M jackpot
BALTIMORE - The holder of a winning Mega Millions ticket sold in Maryland claimed a share of the record-breaking $656 million prize on Monday, but will remain anonymous, state lottery officials said.
The winner claimed the prize at lottery headquarters with a ticket matching all six numbers: 2-4-23-38-46 and the Mega Ball, 23, said Maryland Lottery spokeswoman Carole Everett. The winner will remain anonymous, but officials will share some details at a news conference Tuesday, she said. Maryland does not require lottery winners to be identified.
The jackpot was the biggest in Mega Millions history, and the three winners - one each in Maryland, Illinois and Kansas - will each receive more than $218 million before taxes. Kansas' winner claimed a share of the jackpot Friday, but also decided to remain anonymous.
New federal contestfor school funds planned
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has announced that five states that were finalists in an earlier competition to improve early learning programs will be able to compete for a new pot of money.
Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon and Wisconsin are eligible for a share of $133 million in new "Race to the Top" funding. The winnings are intended to help build statewide systems that affect all early learning programs such as child care, Head Start centers and public or private preschools.
Last year, nine states won a collective $500 million for early learning programs. Thirty-five states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico had applied.
Judge nixes accused NYC madam's latest bail bid
NEW YORK - A suburban mother accused of moonlighting as a multimillion-dollar Manhattan madam was so keen to avoid legal trouble that she left town for Canada within an hour of hearing about an earlier prostitution investigation, prosecutors said Monday.
Prosecutors mentioned the hasty 2008 departure as Anna Gristina made her latest bid to get her $2 million bond reduced. A judge turned her down, saying another jurist had acted rationally in setting the amount.
Gristina, 44, has been held since her February arrest. Prosecutors say she ran a pricey prostitution service for 15 years and claimed to have law-enforcement connections who could give her a heads-up if legal trouble loomed. Her lawyers say she was simply trying to start a legitimate dating service.