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Briefs

Somali rivals kill American rebel

Hammami

– An American who became one of Somalia’s most visible Islamic rebels and was on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list with a $5 million bounty on his head was killed Thursday by rivals in the al-Qaida-linked extremist group al-Shabab, militants said.

The killing of Omar Hammami, an Alabama native known for his rap-filled propaganda videos, may discourage other would-be jihadis from the U.S. and elsewhere from traveling to Somalia, terrorism experts said.

Hammami, whose nom de guerre was Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki, or “the American,” was killed in an ambush in southern Somalia after months on the run after falling out with al-Shabab’s top leader, the militants said.

Molasses spill kills thousands of fish

Officials responding to a spill of 1,400 tons of molasses in Hawaii waters plan to let nature clean things up, with boat crews collecting thousands of dead fish to determine the extent of environmental damage.

The crews already have collected about 2,000 dead fish from waters near Honolulu Harbor, and they expect to see more in the coming days and possibly weeks, said Gary Gill, deputy director of the Hawaii Department of Health.

“Our best advice as of this morning is to let nature take its course,” Gill said.

A senior executive for the shipping company responsible, Matson Navigation Co., said it was taking responsibility but hadn’t planned for the possibility of a spill.

Priest gets 50 years in child porn case

A Kansas City, Mo.-area priest whose case led to a criminal conviction against his bishop will likely spend the rest of his life in a federal prison after being sentenced to 50 years Thursday for producing or trying to produce child pornography.

The Rev. Shawn Ratigan pleaded guilty in August of last year to five counts – one for each of his five young victims. He was charged in May 2011 after police received a flash drive from his computer containing hundreds of images of children, most of them clothed, with the focus on their crotch areas.

Ratigan, 47, apologized to his victims and their families before learning his punishment and asked the judge for the statutory minimum sentence of 15 years for each count, with the terms to all run at the same time.

“Prison is hell,” Ratigan said. “I know I deserve 15 years, but 50 years? Come on, I don’t think so.”

Teen gets life for baby’s stroller death

A Georgia teen convicted of fatally shooting a baby in a stroller was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance of parole after the grieving mother asked a judge to punish the gunman for taking “the love of my life.”

De’Marquise Elkins, 18, stood silent and showed no emotion as he was sentenced in a courtroom less than two weeks after a jury found him guilty of murder in the slaying of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago during a robbery attempt.

The baby was in his stroller and out for a walk with his mother when he was shot between the eyes March 21 in the Georgia coastal city of Brunswick. West, and a younger teenager charged as an accomplice, both testified at trial that Elkins killed the baby after his mother refused to give up her purse.

Bride awaiting slaying trial freed

A federal judge ordered a Montana newlywed released from jail as she awaits trial on charges that she pushed her husband to his death in Glacier National Park because she was having second thoughts about marriage.

Prosecutors immediately sought to reverse Thursday’s order from U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch, saying 22-year-old Jordan Linn Graham of Kalispell was a risk to the community and had lied to investigators.

But Lynch said the government had not shown that Graham was a danger to the community or a flight risk – the two main factors in deciding whether someone should be released. He ordered her into home detention at her parents’ house in Kalispell and to undergo a mental health evaluation.

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