POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J.

Fire destroys shore motel, leaving four people dead

Fire early Friday destroyed a New Jersey shore motel that was housing people displaced by Superstorm Sandy, killing four people and injuring eight, authorities said.

The blaze erupted at the wooden Mariner’s Cove Motor Inn around 5:30 a.m., and flames were shooting out the building by the time firefighters arrived.

At least one person leaped from a second-floor window to escape. Three people were injured critically. Other injuries included broken bones.

The victims were identified as male adults, but the prosecutor’s office said no positive identifications had been made and the cause of the blaze was unknown.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.

Judge awards 7 women $525 million in abuse case

An Arkansas judge has awarded seven women physically and sexually abused by evangelist Tony Alamo another $525 million, pushing the total owed by the imprisoned preacher and an affiliated church to more than $1 billion.

Miller County Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson entered a default judgment Thursday ordering Alamo to match the $525 million already owed by Twenty First Century Holiness Tabernacle Church for actual and punitive damages. No one showed up in court Thursday to defend the preacher, who is serving a 175-year prison sentence for taking girls across state lines for sex.

OAKLAND, Calif.

Iraq War veteran settles lawsuit for $4.5 million

An Iraq War veteran whose skull was fractured during an Occupy Oakland protest when he was hit by a beanbag round fired by police has reached a $4.5 million agreement to settle a federal lawsuit with the city of Oakland, his lawyers and city officials announced Friday.

Scott Olsen, 26, sued the city in 2012 for medical expenses and injuries that also included a fractured vertebrae and hemorrhaging of the brain. Olsen was among more than 1,000 demonstrators protesting the police clearing of an Occupy Oakland encampment when struck by a beanbag fired by an officer outside City Hall on Oct. 25, 2011.

Olsen, who served two tours of duty as a Marine in Iraq, suffered permanent brain injuries and has not been able to return to his career as a computer systems administrator, his attorney said Friday. Olsen’s lawyers said police concluded he was struck by the round that was fired by an officer less than 30 feet away.

– From news service reports