National Roundup

Colorado
State high court refuses to hear pension lawsuit

DENVER (AP) - The Colorado Supreme Court has decided not to hear a lawsuit from state Treasurer Walker Stapleton seeking information about employee benefits in the state's pension system.

The court issued its decision Monday. Stapleton had appealed to the state's highest court after two lower courts ruled against him.

Stapleton, a Republican, has sought non-identifying information about the top 20 percent of the pension's beneficiaries and their annual retirement benefit. He says the information would help him to assess the health of the state pension's program and how to keep it solvent.

The pension board that manages the Public Employees Retirement Association has maintained that the information is confidential.

Missouri
Judge rules CEO committed $1.3 million bond fraud

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that former Mamtek CEO Bruce Cole committed fraud to obtain almost $1.3 million from bond funds that were to be used to build an artificial sweetener plant in Moberly.

In a ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey rejected all claims raised by Cole and his wife, Nanette Cole, in a bankruptcy case. She ruled that $904,167 transferred to the Coles' personal accounts and $360,000 sent overseas to Cole's creditors must be repaid.

Mamtek defaulted in August 2011, only a year after persuading Moberly leaders to issue $39 million in bonds to build the plant.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Friday's ruling focused on Bruce Cole's obtaining money from a fund established with proceeds from the bonds.

Massachusetts
Golf partners charged with insider trading

BOSTON (AP) - Federal securities regulators have charged a former Eastern Bank executive with insider trading for allegedly telling a golfing partner about an impending acquisition.

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday charged John Patrick O'Neill, a former executive at Eastern Bank, with telling his friend and golfing buddy Robert Bray, about Eastern's planned acquisition of Wainwright Bank & Trust Co. in 2010. The men were members of the same Watertown country club.

Authorities say Bray bought 31,000 shares of Wainwright, and then sold them once the acquisition became public for twice the price, making a profit of nearly $300,000.

O'Neill also faces separate criminal charges. He was arrested Monday and released on $200,000 bond.

Lawyers for the men did not return messages.

New York
Designer sues Barnes & Noble over backpacks

NEW YORK (AP) - A former New York fashion student is claiming in a federal lawsuit that she designed a backpack for Barnes & Noble and hasn't made any money off the top-selling bag.

Diana Rubio was a student at Manhattan's Fashion Institute of Technology when she designed the "everything backpack" in 2010.

The Daily News reports that the school had assigned Rubio to enter Barnes & Noble's "Back to Campus" contest.

Rubio's bag won the contest and sells for $39.95. The Barnes & Noble website identifies Rubio as the designer.

But Rubio says in a lawsuit filed Monday in Manhattan federal court that she never received any money from FIT or Barnes & Noble for her design.

Representatives for the bookstore chain and the school did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

New York
Police: Man runs over Sikh, calls him a terrorist

NEW YORK (AP) - Police have arrested a 55-year-old New York man on charges he called a Sikh man a terrorist and mowed him down with his pickup truck.

The encounter happened July 30 in Richmond Hill, Queens.

The New York Post reports that Joseph Caleca and 29-year-old Sandeep Singh exchanged words because Singh's car door was blocking the street.

Police say Caleca called Singh a terrorist before hitting him with his truck. Police say Caleca then accelerated, hit Singh and dragged him several feet before fleeing.

Caleca, of Setauket on Long Island, was arrested late Monday on charges of attempted murder as a hate crime and assault as a hate crime. No information on a lawyer for him was available.

Singh was treated at Jamaica Hospital for abdominal and back injuries.

Texas
Father to stand trial in killing of drunk driver

ANGLETON, Texas (AP) - A father faces trial on charges that he fatally shot a drunken driver who killed his two sons in a wreck in rural Southeast Texas.

Opening statements were expected Tuesday in the murder trial of David Barajas (buh-RAH'-hus) in Angleton.

Authorities say Barajas fatally shot Jose Banda after the December 2012 accident near Alvin, about 30 miles southeast of Houston. Barajas' sons, 12-year-old David Jr. and 11-year-old Caleb were killed in the wreck.

Defense attorney Sam Cammack says his client did not kill Banda.

No witnesses have named Barajas as the shooter. Authorities never recovered a weapon.

If convicted, Barajas faces up to life in prison.

Florida
Woman mistakes grandson for intruder, shoots

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Sheriff's deputies in Florida say a 7-year-old boy is in critical condition after his grandmother mistook him for an intruder and shot him.

The shooting happened around 1 a.m. Tuesday in Tampa.

According to Hillsborough County Sheriff's officials, 63-year-old Linda Maddox and her twin grandsons were sleeping after their father had left for work. Maddox told deputies she had placed a chair against the bedroom door handle for extra protection. When she heard the chair sliding against the floor, she assumed it was an intruder and grabbed a loaded .22-caliber revolver she keeps by the bed and fired one shot in the dark toward the door.

Deputies say seconds later she heard the screams of her grandson Tyler Maddox. He was shot once in the upper body. He was taken to a hospital.

 

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