December 11, 2012

Nation & World Dispatches

From news service reports

(Continued from page 1)

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Free Syrian Army fighters take their positions, close to a military base, near Azaz, Syria, on Monday. A State Department report says foreign jihadists have flocked to Syria.

The Associated Press


Second Powerball jackpot winner, 37, comes forward

The second winner of the $587.5 million Powerball jackpot is a 37-year-old electronics industry professional who grew up in a modest home in Pennsylvania and moved to an affluent Phoenix suburb last year before striking it rich in the lotto.

The winner is Matthew Good of Fountain Hills, who chose to remain anonymous after claiming the prize last week. Lottery winners in Arizona are a matter of public record, and The Associated Press filed a public records request to learn his name.

Good took the one-time payout of $192 million from the Nov. 28 drawing, telling lottery officials the looming fiscal cliff was the reason he claimed the winnings now and not in the next calendar year. He had 180 days to claim his share of the jackpot.

Good grew up on a working-class block in Wormleysburg, Pa., near Harrisburg. His stepmother, Charlotte Good, said that Good was “a typical kid” who has always worked hard. She said he waited until Saturday to phone his father Ray with the news.


Man defiant at sentencing in 1957 murder of 7-year-old

A man found guilty of murdering a 7-year-old in Sycamore, Ill., in 1957, was sentenced to natural life in prison Monday in DeKalb County Court.

Jack McCullough, 73, of Seattle, had been scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 30 for the murder and kidnapping of Maria Ridulph, but his attorneys asked for a new date to prepare more adequately for the hearing.

McCullough remained defiant Monday, making a 13-minute statement in which he denied committing the murder. He also said that FBI records proved he could not have committed the murder. Those records were ruled inadmissible in pre-trial rulings by Judge James Hallock.

The proof, he said, was in a banker’s box in front of him, which he said contained 4,000 pages of FBI reports compiled in the wake of the crime more than 55 years ago. Included were reports that McCullough said supported his alibi that he was in Rockford when Maria was kidnapped.

“In the name of justice and fairness, open the box and view the truth,” McCullough told the judge.

However, Hallock had ruled before trial that the FBI documents were not admissible. The testimony of the officer who completed a report is considered evidence – not the report itself. McCullough’s attorneys had argued that the reports should be allowed into evidence because the agents who completed them are dead or extremely aged.

Clay Campbell, the former state’s attorney who prosecuted McCullough, called his courtroom statement “self-serving nonsense.”

McCullough chose to be sentenced under the law as it existed in 1957. That means that he could, in theory, be eligible for parole in 20 years.


Peace-teaching tribe shaken by murderous rampage

Gravediggers work the old-fashioned way on the Tule River Indian Reservation, chipping away at the hard pan by hand with pickaxes and shoveling the dirt aside. They say it’s a sign of respect not to use machinery, but never has the crew had to dig so many graves at one time.

On Monday, the brothers who run the reservation cemetery were preparing to dig a grave for Alyssa Celaya, 8, who died Sunday following a rampage the previous day that also took the lives of her grandmother and the grandmother’s two brothers. They’ll dig five graves this week.

The killings have shaken this peace-preaching tribe because it goes against their teachings that love for family exists above all.

Authorities said the killer was Alyssa’s father, Hector Celaya, 31, who died Sunday after a shootout with sheriff’s deputies. Investigators were still searching for a motive.

Along with killing his daughter, mother and uncles, Celaya wounded his 5-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son, whose injuries are life-threatening, authorities said.

“The community is a peaceful one, and the tribe tries to teach children to be nonviolent,” said Tribal Council Secretary Rhoda Hunter. “We teach our children to not even kill insects. The battle between good and evil is there. Bad is always going to be there. I tell my grandkids that. I tell them to work for good.”

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