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News Briefs

Officers in King Beating Case Will Stay in Jail during Appeal

Los Angeles Times

A federal appellate court has denied requests for Los Angeles police officers Stacey C. Koon and Laurence M. Powell to remain free while they pursue their appeals in the Rodney G. King civil rights case, making it almost certain that the officers will begin serving their prison sentences next month.

The decision by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, handed down Monday, is a setback for the officers. They and their lawyers have argued that the two men should not go to jail until an appellate court has the chance to decide whether their convictions were proper.

"It's incredibly disappointing," said Michael P. Stone, one of Powell's lawyers.

Prosecutors, by contrast, welcomed the 9th Circuit's ruling. "I'm very pleased with the court's decision," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven D. Clymer, one of two lead prosecutors in the case.

In its brief order, the appellate panel found that the two officers each were convicted of a "crime of violence," rejecting the position argued by the lawyers for the officers -- that the civil rights violations charged in this case did not necessarily amount to violent crimes.

U.S. Releases Names of 5,000 Medical Profession Loan Defaulters

Los Angeles Times

In an unusual effort to pressure medical professionals into paying overdue student loans, federal officials released the names Monday of nearly 5,000 doctors, dentists, and other health workers who have defaulted on more than $228 million in government loans.

The names also will also be turned over to the IRS and the U.S. Justice Department for collection, said a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, which loans to students in health care fields. Debtors also will be barred from receiving payment for Medicaid and Medicare patients they treat.

Shalala ordered the debtors' names and the amounts they owe printed in Monday's Federal Register, a widely read publication that contains information on new federal regulations..

"We want to get the taxpayers' dollars back," said Patricia Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Health Resources and Services Administration. "Basically, we're embarrassing them."

GAO Finds Job Rehab Serves Few

The Washington Post


The nation's $2 billion-a-year vocational rehabilitation program serves only a small proportion of potential beneficiaries, and the gains achieved by disabled participants tend to fade substantially after two years, according to a new analysis by the General Accounting Office.

"We found that only a small fraction of those potentially eligible are served and that those who do take part in the program receive on the average only modest services," the GAO concluded.

William L. Smith, acting commissioner of the Education Department's Rehabilitation Services Administration, said Monday that "we agree with the statistics presented in the report, but we are talking about severely disabled people who may experience letdowns. Our main mission is to get severely disabled people employed. There is no way to guarantee they are going to be employed for life." He said that while the success rate is not "astounding," it shows good progress for many people.

Under the program, the federal government makes grants to states to evaluate whether disabled people would be able to work if given adaptive equipment, special education and training, and to help find them jobs and provide special services such as transportation assistance.


Watching for Emily

By Michael Morgan
staff meteorologist

Hurricane Emily is expected to turn north and then northeast away from the southeast and Mid-Atlantic states in this forecast period. The hurricane will likely weaken as part of its circulation encounters land and cooler sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic south of New England. While it is anticipated that Emily will give portions of southern New England -- particularly Connecticut and Rhode Island -- only a "glancing blow," stay tuned to local radio and TV for updates on Emily's progress over the next 36 to 48 hours.

The ridge of high pressure which blocked Emily's northward progress the last few days will move offshore allowing the hurricane to move to the north and then northeast. This same high, is also responsible for turning our winds into the southwest winds -- resulting in more moist and warm air from the southern U.S. This moisture, coupled with the effects of Emily, and an approaching cold front should increase our chances for showers and thunderstorms during the latter half of Wednesday. Increasing east to northeast winds will be experienced, shifting to northwest as Emily moves toward and then away from the area.

The extended outlook calls for a more fall-like weather pattern to gradually begin setting up toward week's end. This will mean cooler, less humid weather.

Today: Increasing clouds, warm and humid. High 84F (29C).

Tonight: Partly cloudy, and humid with areas of fog. Showers likely.

Wednesday: Increasing east to northeast winds 10-25 mph (16-41 kph) and gusty. Occasional rain and rain showers arriving during the afternoon or evening. Becoming foggy. High 72-78F (22-26C). Low 65-69F (18-21C).