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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Change of plea hearing in Obama poison letter case

Friday, 17 January 2014 01:28 Published in National News
   JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — A change-of-plea hearing is scheduled for a man charged with sending poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama and other officials.
   James Everett Dutschke is scheduled for a hearing in U.S. District Court in Oxford on Friday afternoon, according to court documents.
   Dutschke, 42, previously pleaded not guilty and denied sending the letters. He also denied a later charge that, while incarcerated, he tried to recruit someone else to send a ricin-tainted letter.
   Dutschke has been jailed since April on charges of sending ricin-tainted letters to Obama, Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, and a Mississippi judge. The judge was the only one to receive a letter, though she was not harmed. The letters to Obama and Wicker were intercepted.
   Authorities first arrested Elvis impersonator Paul Kevin Curtis for allegedly sending the letters, which contained statements that Curtis had often used on his Facebook page, including the line, "I am KC and I approve this message." The letters also contained the phrase "Missing Pieces," the same title as an unpublished book Curtis wrote about his belief that there's a black market for body parts in the United States.
   But charges against Curtis were dropped when the investigation shifted to Dutschke. Curtis says the men have feuded for years.
   Dutschke is accused of trying to frame Curtis, both before and after Dutschke's own arrest. An indictment filed in November alleges that while incarcerated, he tried to recruit someone else to send a ricin-tainted letter.
   According to the indictment, Dutschke wanted the latest letter to say: "It doesn't matter the Fife types have the wrong one. D. had to be sacrificed to show the corruption in the system. I tried to warn you. Ha. K."
   Dutschke is a former martial arts instructor in the north Mississippi town of Tupelo, Elvis Presley's birthplace.
   He faces up to life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge, the production of a biological weapon.

Explosion hits protesters in Bangkok, 22 injured

Friday, 17 January 2014 01:20 Published in National News
   BANGKOK (AP) — Bangkok's emergency services center says 22 people were injured when an explosion hit marching anti-government protesters in the capital.
   Protest spokesman Akanat Promphan said the movement's leader, Suthep Thaugsuban, was in the procession Monday but was not wounded.
   Akanat said an explosive device was thrown into a truck driven by demonstrators that was several dozen meters ahead of Suthep.
   Protesters trying to oust Yingluck Shinawatra have marched peacefully across the capital this week.
   But small acts of violence have been reported nightly at protest venues, which have been targeted in shooting attacks and with small explosives hurled at the homes of top supporters.

Group says cancer rates high along Cold Water Creek

Thursday, 16 January 2014 04:35 Published in Local News
   A local group says cold war era nuclear waste is still sickening current and former residents along Cold Water Creek in north St. Louis County.  
   The group is called "Coldwater Creek—Just the facts please."  They group says an informal survey shows a higher than normal cancer rate among those who lived near the creek, which runs from near Lambert Airport through Florissant to the Missouri River.  
   The survey found more than 1,200 total cancers among 3,300 people who had lived around the creek, including 202 thyroid cancers or conditions, 113 brain tumors and 39 appendix cancers.  
   The group wants federal health investigators to classify the area as contaminated. That designation could lead to government compensation for their health problems.
 

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