BILLINGS, Mont.

Former teacher who raped student gets longer sentence

A former high school teacher who served one month in prison after being convicted of raping a 14-year-old student faces more time behind bars after the Montana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that his original sentence was too short.

Justices in a unanimous ruling ordered the case of Stacey Dean Rambold assigned to a new judge for re-sentencing.

The decision means Rambold must serve a minimum of two years in prison under state sentencing laws, Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito said.

The high court cited, in part, the inflammatory comments of the sentencing judge, District Judge G. Todd Baugh, who drew wide condemnation for suggesting that the victim shared some responsibility for her rape.

Baugh said during Rambold’s sentencing in August that the teenager was “probably as much in control of the situation as the defendant.” He later apologized.

Rambold was released after fulfilling the original sentence last fall and is expected to remain free pending his reappearance in state District Court.

The defendant was a 47-year-old business teacher at Billings Senior High School at the time of the 2007 rape. The victim, one of his students, killed herself while Rambold was awaiting trial.

Rambold’s sentence had been appealed by the state Department of Justice.

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.

Smoke from wildfire forces evacuation of homes, schools

A wildfire driven by surging Santa Ana winds sent a choking pall of smoke through foothill neighborhoods on Wednesday, forcing the evacuation of at least 1,650 homes and the closure of at least seven schools.

No homes burned, but the smoke prompted mandatory evacuation orders for several areas of town nestled at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles.

More than 500 firefighters battled the flames near this city of 165,000 people.

The fire was reported about 8 a.m., grew to 200 acres by noon, quadrupled in size within a few hours and continued to grow as it roared through dry brush, fire officials said.

The fire erupted in the midst of a heat wave that sent Southern California temperatures soaring into the 90s in some areas.

Los Angeles International Airport recorded a high of 87 degrees, breaking the old record for the day of 86 that was set in 1996.

At Long Beach Airport, the high of 92 broke a 1996 record by two degrees.

MASTIC BEACH N.Y.

Scholar chooses Yale from eight Ivy League schools

It’s Yale.

Kwasi Enin, the Long Island scholar-athlete who had the enviable dilemma of selecting any of the eight Ivy League schools to attend, said he’s ready for the challenge that his top choice has to offer.

“I’m not intimidated by the school very much,” he said in revealing he will go to Yale University, the New Haven, Connecticut, a school consistently ranked among the world’s best. “There’s always that shock factor for most college kids — the world’s bigger than I thought it was. There are a lot more smart kids than I thought there were, compared to me. But I’m ready for that.”

– From news service reports