National Roundup

Pennsylvania
Just Born, maker of Peeps, sues union over strike

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) - The Pennsylvania company that makes marshmallow Peeps as well as Mike and Ike candies has filed a federal lawsuit claiming a workers' strike is illegal.

Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 6 workers walked off the job Sept. 7.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by Just Born Quality Confections says that violates a no-strike provision of a contract that expired June 18. The company says the no-strike clause was still in effect until Sept. 18 under a contract extension.

Ron Baker, the union's strategic campaign coordinator, says the lawsuit is frivolous and that the no-strike agreement expired with the contract.

The company says the strike was timed to hurt production of Peeps, which are made in the fall for the following Easter.

Massachusetts
Mobster to plead guilty to charges in 1993 slaying

BOSTON (AP) - Court documents show a reputed longtime member of the New England Mafia plans to plead guilty to charges that he lied to investigators probing the 1993 slaying of a Boston nightclub owner.

Seventy-year-old Robert "Bobby" DeLuca is scheduled to enter a guilty plea to charges of obstruction of justice and making false statements on Oct. 25 in Boston federal court.

DeLuca has been cooperating with authorities and implicated former mob boss Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme in the murder of Steven DiSarro.

DiSarro's remains were found in March behind a Providence, Rhode Island, mill owned by a mob associate.

A Massachusetts State Police trooper testified recently that DeLuca told investigators he helped Salemme dispose of the body.

Salemme and 61-year-old plumber Paul Weadick have pleaded not guilty to killing DiSarro.

Massachusetts
Former altar boy supervisor denies sex abuse charges

BOSTON (AP) - A 79-year-old man who once supervised altar boys as a layman at a Roman Catholic church in Boston has pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually abused a young boy decades ago.

Michael Walsh was arraigned Wednesday on two counts of child rape and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under age 14.

Prosecutors allege Walsh abused a boy from the fourth- to sixth-grades between September 1988 and June 1991. The alleged victim is now 38.

Prosecutors say Walsh used his role at St. Brendan Parish in the city's Dorchester neighborhood and his position as youth baseball coach to "gain access to, groom and ultimately sexually assault the victim."

Walsh was released with GPS monitoring. He and his lawyer refused to comment outside of court.

Connecticut
Man who used wheelchair guilty in Rolex theft

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man who pretended he needed a wheelchair so he could steal a $37,000 watch from a jewelry store is heading to prison.

The Connecticut Post reports that 36-year-old Larry Johnson of Waterbury pleaded guilty Wednesday to robbery, larceny and assault.

Authorities say Johnson entered a Stamford jewelry store in a wheelchair in May 2015 and asked to see a Rolex watch. Once he had the watch in hand, he got out of the wheelchair, used Mace on the sales clerk and the security guard and knocked the guard to the ground as he ran out of the store.

Johnson was tied to the theft by a fingerprint left on the wheelchair.

He faces a sentence of six years in prison when he's sentenced Dec. 7.

Virginia
Driver of van charged after woman falls off mattress, dies

HAYMARKET, Va. (AP) - Authorities in Virginia have charged the driver of a van after a woman fell to her death while riding atop a mattress the two women were trying to move.

Local news organizations report that 41-year-old Norma Guadron Canales of Culpeper was driving the van Friday morning while 20-year-old Sindy Zelaya Gonzalez rode atop the mattress on the van's roof. The mattress came off and Gonzalez fell.

The Prince William County Police Department says the two women had found the mattress curbside and were trying to move it.

Canales stayed at the scene and turned herself in to authorities. She was charged with reckless driving and driving without a license on Tuesday.

It's unclear if she has an attorney.

Florida
Police officer faces suspension for slapping homeless man

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida police officer faces a 20-day unpaid suspension after an internal investigation concluded he used excessive force by slapping an intoxicated homeless man being evicted from a bus terminal.

A citizens board will review the Fort Lauderdale Police Department's internal investigation of the incident on Monday and make a recommendation to Fort Lauderdale's city manager regarding Officer Victor Ramirez.

The SunSentinel reports Ramirez was caught on tape hitting and threatening Bruce LaClair after he fell as the officer tried to get him to leave a downtown bus terminal last February.

Ramirez was acquitted in March of battery and filing a false report.

Major Karen Dietrich wrote in the report that Ramirez "appeared to be acting out of emotion, rather than making a rational response to resistance."

Florida
Ex-concert promoter faces prison in $200 million fraud

MIAMI (AP) - A former South Florida concert promoter who staged tours for major acts such as the Rolling Stones, Elton John and Aerosmith is facing prison for what prosecutors say was a $200 million fraud scheme.

A Miami federal judge is scheduled Thursday to sentence 73-year-old Jack Utsick, who pleaded guilty in June to a mail fraud charge. He could get up to 20 years behind bars, although his lawyers are seeking about six years.

Prosecutors say Utsick operated his Worldwide Entertainment Inc. promotion company as a Ponzi scheme, repaying older investors with money from newer ones. The scheme allegedly defrauded about 3,000 investors out of more than $200 million.

Utsick was extradited from Brazil in 2014 and has been jailed since. His lawyers claim investor losses were far lower.

Published: Fri, Sep 30, 2016

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