National Roundup

Maryland
Lawsuit: Medical school ignored sex harassment complaints

BALTIMORE (AP) - The University of Maryland, Baltimore, and its School of Medicine is accused of ignoring complaints of sexual harassment.

The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday that 31-year-old Carly Goldstein accuses the institutions in a federal lawsuit of failing to stop harassment by her supervisor, Dr. Robert Crawford, who is a surgeon at the University of Maryland Medical Center and professor at the medical school.

The lawsuit says supervisors and a university investigative body disregarded the research coordinator's complaints about unwanted advances she said Crawford made toward her between 2014 and 2017. The newspaper says three other women also complained about Crawford's behavior, including two female surgeons who left because of the harassment.

Attorney General Brian Frosh says the lawsuit should be dismissed because Goldstein technically worked for a foundation, not the hospital.

Kentucky
Judge rules boys discriminated against in Title IX case

LONDON, Ky. (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that a Kentucky school district is discriminating against boys by only allowing girls to play basketball at more than one grade level.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell said Friday that Laurel County Schools needs to change or end its "Play Up, Stay Up" policy. An October lawsuit by Laurel Commonwealth's Attorney and parent Jackie Steele says the policy violates Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in a federally-assisted educational activity.

It says Steele's son wanted to play for more than one grade level's basketball team, but the district only allowed girls to do so. Laurel County Schools attorney Larry Bryson said that was because there weren't enough girl players.

Bryson says the board will discuss the judge's order this week.

Nebraska
18-year-old takes plea deal in ­Kearney shooting

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) - An 18-year-old who shot a woman in the back in Kearney has taken a plea deal.

Buffalo County District Court records say Deven Ward, of Kearney, is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 19. He'd pleaded no contest to felony assault and felony possession of a stolen firearm. Prosecutors dropped another weapons charge in return for Ward's pleas.

The shooting occurred in a car on April 14, after the woman and two juveniles with her picked up Ward and another man. The Kearney Hub reports that the gun went off as Ward played with it while sitting behind the woman as she drove. The bullet struck her in the back.

Police say Ward got out and fled on foot. The woman called a relative, who took her to a hospital.

Washington
Police: ­Grandfather fatally shoots grandson in self-defense

SEATTLE (AP) - Police say a 78-year-old Renton man fatally shot and killed his grandson in what police believe was an act of self-defense.

The Seattle Times reports police were called to a Renton home Saturday night, where a 26-year-old man had reportedly assaulted his mother, said Renton police Cmdr. Dave Leibman.

Leibman says the grandfather reported that after witnessing the assault on his daughter, he got his gun in order to protect her and shot his grandson, who died at the scene.

Leibman says the grandfather then put his gun away and went outside to wait for officers.

Leibman says police concluded the grandfather was in fear for his life and defending his daughter when he shot his grandson.

He was not arrested.

A final decision on whether charges will be filed will be made after the incident is reviewed by King County prosecutors.

Maine
Congressman, ­voters sue over state's new ­ranking system

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin and three other voters are suing over Maine's new voting system used for the first time in U.S. House and Senate elections.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court. It seeks a preliminary injunction, and a lawyer for Poliquin's campaign asked to stop the process of additional voting tabulations until a judge can rule.

Poliquin received the most first-place votes on Election Day and believes he should be declared the winner. But the ranked-choice voting system requires additional voting rounds because neither he nor Democrat Jared Golden won an outright majority.

The voting system approved by referendum in 2016 lets voters rank candidates from first to last on the ballot. It provides for eliminations of last-place candidates and reallocations of votes to ensure that the winner gets a majority.

Georgia
Lawyer accused of sexually ­exploiting ­children

MONROE, Ga. (AP) - A lawyer who serves as an assistant attorney general and part-time judge is accused of sexually exploiting children.

News outlets report 58-year-old George Randolph Jeffery was arrested Friday on child exploitation charges. Federal and state agents also raided his Monroe home that day.

Attorney Robbie Ballard says his firm represents Jeffery, who he says intends to plead not guilty. He remained an active member of the state bar in good standing as of Monday.

Attorney General Chris Carr's office says Jeffery was a state-appointed assistant attorney general for the Department of Human Services' division of child support services. An office spokes­person told WSB-TV "we terminated Mr. Jeffery's appointment as a Special Assistant Attorney General immediately upon getting word of the arrest." He previously served as an associate probate judge.

New York
FBI report sayshate crimes spiked 17 ­percent in 2017

NEW YORK (AP) - The FBI says hate crimes reports were up about 17 percent in 2017, marking a rise for the third year in a row.

An annual report shows there were more than 7,100 reported hate crimes last year. There were increases in attacks motivated by racial bias, religious bias and because of a victim's sexual orientation.

The report, released Tuesday, shows there was a nearly 23 percent increase in religion-based hate crimes. There was a 37 percent spike in anti-Jewish hate crimes.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker says the report is a "call to action." He says the offenses were "despicable violations of our core values as Americans."

The FBI says although the number of attacks has increased, so has the number of law enforcement agencies reporting hate-crime data.

Published: Wed, Nov 14, 2018

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