December 22, 2012

Nation Dispatches

WASHINGTON

Genetically altered salmon heads toward FDA approval

Federal health regulators say a genetically modified salmon that grows twice as fast as normal is unlikely to harm the environment, clearing the way for the first approval of a scientifically engineered animal for human consumption.

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday released its environmental assessment of the AquaAdvantage salmon, a faster-growing fish which has been subject to a contentious, years-long debate at the agency. The document concludes that the fish "will not have any significant impacts on the quality of the human environment of the United States." Regulators also said that the fish is unlikely to harm populations of natural salmon, a key concern for environmental activists.

The FDA will take comments from the public on its report for 60 days before making it final.

INDIANAPOLIS

Three charged with murder in explosion that killed two

Three people charged in a gas explosion that devastated a neighborhood deliberately set up the deadly blast to collect a big insurance payout, authorities said Friday.

The home's owner, Monserrate Shirley; her boyfriend, Mark Leonard; and his brother, Bob Leonard, were arrested Friday and charged with murder, arson and other counts in the Nov. 10 blast that killed two people.

Shirley, 47, was facing mounting financial woes, including $63,000 in credit card debt and a growing threat she might lose her home amid bankruptcy proceedings, court documents say. And a friend of Mark Leonard's told investigators Leonard said he had "lost a ton of money" -- about $10,000 -- at a casino some three weeks before the explosion.

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa.

Gunman kills three people before troopers shoot him

A man fatally shot a woman decorating for a children's Christmas party at a tiny church hall and killed two men elsewhere in a rural township Friday before he was shot dead in a gunfight with state troopers.

Three troopers in patrol cars were injured in a pursuit that began after the gunman, driving a pickup truck, fired at them, police said. One trooper injured a wrist and then was hit in the chest but was saved by a bulletproof vest.

The gunman was killed during a final exchange of gunfire after ramming his truck head-on into another police cruiser, authorities said.

NEW ORLEANS

Woman wins right to pose lights in insulting gesture

A Louisiana woman ran afoul of police when she gave her neighbors an unusual holiday greeting, hanging Christmas lights in the shape of a middle finger.

Sarah Childs was in a dispute with some of her neighbors in Denham Springs, just east of Baton Rouge, so she decided to send a message with her decorations. Neighbors complained and police threatened to arrest her, so she and the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana sued the city.

A judge ruled in her favor Thursday.

"I imagine it will be back up before too long," ACLU of Louisiana executive director Marjorie Esman said.

Childs erected the lights on her roof last month. She has removed them twice - once after a police officer told her she could be fined and again after another officer threatened to arrest her, her lawsuit said.

U.S. District Judge James Brady issued an order temporarily barring the city from interfering with the display.

-- From news service reports

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)