National Roundup

New Jersey
Jets’ Goodson declines to talk drug, gun case

MORRISTOWN, N.J. (AP) — Prosecutors in New Jersey are sending the drug and weapons case against New York Jets running back Mike Goodson to a grand jury.
Goodson made a brief appearance in court in Morristown on Wednesday. He and his attorney declined to comment afterward.
Goodson and a friend were arrested last month after they were found in a car stopped on Interstate 80. The men were charged with marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and weapons offenses. Police say they found a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun and a hollow-point bullet in the vehicle.
The 25-year-old has pleaded not guilty and has taken part in some preseason practices with the Jets.
Assistant Morris County Prosecutor Peter Foy says no plea deal is on the table.

Rhode Island
School accused of sweatshop for the disabled

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department has found that a Providence vocational school ran what amounted to a sweatshop involving developmentally disabled students.
WPRI-TV reports the department’s Civil Rights Division sent a letter to Rhode Island’s capital outlining violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act at the Harold H. Birch Vocational School.
The department found disabled students were paid little or nothing while working long hours in a “sheltered workshop” bagging, labeling, collating and assembling jewelry under contracts between the school and private businesses. It also found students were funneled into a similar segregated program after leaving Birch.
Mayor Angel Taveras (tuh-VEHR’-us) says the city shut down the program and is entering into a settlement agreement with the Justice Department. He says he’s also talking with public safety officials about a criminal investigation.

Missing mom who was found in Fla. gets jail

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — A mother who disappeared from her central Pennsylvania home in 2002 and was later declared legally dead before resurfacing in Florida has been sent to jail on a probation violation.
The Pensacola News Journal reports that Brenda Heist, who’s known in the Santa Rosa County court system as Kelsie Smith, was sentenced Tuesday to a year in jail.
She pleaded no contest to failing to check in with authorities in the Tampa area after leaving the Pensacola area following her April release from jail. She’d been on probation for using someone else’s identification during a traffic stop.
Heist left behind a husband and two children when she disappeared from her home outside Lititz, Pa., in February 2002. She turned herself in to deputies in Monroe County, Fla., in April and revealed she was a missing person.

Trial to begin for man accused in terrorism hoax

PHOENIX (AP) — Lawyers made opening statements Wednesday in the trial of an Arizona man accused of sending his nephew into a street with a fake grenade launcher as he filmed the masked teen pointing the fake weapon at passing cars.
Prosecutors allege 40-year-old filmmaker Michael David Turley endangered his 16-year-old nephew in staging the mock terrorism scenario on July 28 at a busy intersection in northwest Phoenix. Turley has pleaded not guilty to charges of endangerment and engaging in a criminal hoax.
In a YouTube video of the hoax, a narrator identified by police as Turley said he wanted to see how long it took authorities to respond to a terrorist situation and mentioned a movie theater shooting two weeks earlier that killed 12 people in Aurora, Colo.
The teenager, whose body was draped in a sheet and whose head was wrapped in a scarf, carried the fake launcher on his shoulder as he made his way across a crosswalk. The narrator said the teen wanted to appear as intimidating as possible in hopes that people would call police.
The video also showed the first police officer to arrive on the scene, finding the 16-year-old as he stood in a driveway. The officer calmly told the teenager to put down the weapon and Turley to put down the camera. The officer didn’t draw his gun.
Recordings of 911 calls showed that most people who saw the 16-year-old told authorities that they assumed the weapon was a fake, though one caller said the teen pointed the launcher at him.
Turley’s arrest came nearly two months after the hoax. Police left the scene that day without making any arrests. But Turley was later arrested after police interviewed people who called emergency services and later saw the video posted on YouTube.
If convicted of both charges, Turley would face penalties ranging from only probation to more than five years in prison.

Judge sides with picket arrested at Supreme Ct

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has ruled in favor of a protester arrested two years ago while demonstrating on the plaza of the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruling on Tuesday also declared unconstitutional a statute banning the display of a flag or banner on the grounds of the court.
Harold Hodge Jr., was arrested on the Supreme Court plaza in January 2011 while wearing a sign that criticized police treatment of blacks and Hispanics.
The Rutherford Institute, which challenged the statute on Hodge’s behalf, said the judge’s ruling “throws a lifeline to the First Amendment at a time when government officials are doing their best to censor, silence and restrict free speech activities.”
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office says the office is reviewing the decision.

Man found guilty of making court bomb threats

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A north Florida man is facing up to ten years of prison after he was convicted of sending threatening letters, including one where he said he would blow up a federal courthouse.
The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida says Jamie Lee Wambles was convicted on four counts Tuesday.
Wambles is from Sneads. He’s accused of sending letters last December to the federal courthouse in Tallahassee, including one that he claimed had anthrax in it. He also sent a letter threatening to blow up the courthouse.
The U.S. Attorney’s office says Wambles was upset because his pit bull had been shot and killed when he was arrested on other charges last year. Wambles wanted the officers arrested.