National Roundup

Massachusetts
High school ­baseball coach charged with assaulting player

WESTWOOD, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts high school baseball coach is facing an assault charge and has been suspended after allegedly grabbing one of his players by the back of the neck to escort him to the dugout.

Xaverian Brothers High School said in a statement the incident involving coach Gerry Lambert occurred Wednesday during a 7-0 loss to St. John's Prep.

Westwood police say several witnesses reported that Lambert went on the field while one of his players argued with the umpire, and escorted the player to the dugout by the neck.

Lambert was charged with assault and battery. He wasn't arrested but will receive a summons to court.

Lambert has been coach at the boys' Catholic school since 2002 and has won two state championships.

He told WFXT-TV he had no comment.

Georgia
Former officer accused of ­stealing painkillers from evidence

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (AP) - A former police officer of Warner Robins, Georgia, is accused of using his position to steal narcotic painkillers from the department's evidence room after he was diagnosed with cancer.

The Telegraph of Macon reports 55-year-old Pratt D. Martin was indicted Tuesday on charges including possession of oxycodone.

The indictment says Martin stole the painkillers between February 2016 and January 2017. Martin was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and went on medical leave in early 2017. He later left the department.

Warner Robins police said Wednesday that evidence discrepancies were initially detected internally, leading to an outside audit.

Acting Police Chief John Wagner says the audit found additional painkiller discrepancies, which led to an investigation by the state Bureau of Investigation.

The newspaper says Martin wasn't immediately reached for comment.

Tennessee
Inmate sues ­county over paralysis in bunk-bed fall

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - An inmate who became paralyzed after a fall at a Tennessee jail is suing the county that operates it.

The Daily News Journal reports that Nicholas Parks' lawsuit says he had a history of seizures and told staff at the Rutherford County jail that he needed to sleep on the bottom bunk or floor. Instead he was ordered to sleep on a top bunk.

Parks fell from the bunk overnight last January and injured his neck, causing paralysis.

The complaint says jail staff was negligent and should have been familiar with Parks' health history. He is seeking $300,000 for his injuries and medical expenses.

According to a court filing, Rutherford County will ask the judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

Washington
Nurse files class action suit over unpaid breaks

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) - A nurse who works at a Bremerton medical center has filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court against Franciscan Health System, alleging staff isn't properly compensated for lunch and other work breaks.

The Kitsap Sun reports Hana Etcheverry, who works at the Harrison Medical Center campus, says in court documents that nurses' unpaid breaks, including 30 minutes for lunch, are "continuously subject to interruption" in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and Washington state law.

Lawyers filed the suit this week as a class action to enjoin all nurses like Etcheverry who've worked in the Franciscan Health System over the past several years.

CHI Franciscan vice president Cary Evans says they are aware of the filing, are looking into the matters raised in the complaint and will handle all appropriately.

Illinois
Judge says public housing gun ban is unconstitutional

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that the East St. Louis Housing Authority's rule prohibiting public housing tenants from owning a firearm is unconstitutional.

The Belleville News-Democrat reported that U.S. District Judge Phil Gilbert ruled that the ban was a violation of residents' Second Amendment right to own a firearm for lawful purposes.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit brought by the Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association on behalf of a woman who contends that she needed a firearm to protect herself from an abusive ex-husband.

The lawsuit on behalf of the woman - identified as N. Doe -contends the ban is discriminatory against the poor because it does not give them the same right to bear arms that people who can afford private housing enjoy.

Alaska
Man sentenced for stealing ­fossilized ­mammoth tusk

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - An Alaska man who stole a fossilized woolly mammoth tusk and sliced it into pieces for resale will serve nearly three years in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason on Thursday sentenced Martin Elze, 52, to 33 months for the theft of the 5.5 foot (1.7 meters) tusk from a small Bureau of Land Management museum in Anchorage. Gleason also ordered Elze to pay $8,385.82 in restitution to the Campbell Creek Science Center.

Elze in December pleaded guilty to one count of removal of a paleontological resource. An accomplice, Gary Lynn Boyd, pleaded guilty in January and will be sentenced May 15.

The woolly mammoth is Alaska's official state fossil. The intact tusk was worth $7,000 to $9,000, according to federal prosecutors. Artists carve pieces for jewelry or small sculptures.

The tusk was displayed at the BLM's Campbell Creek Science Center, a popular destination for Anchorage schoolchildren, and visitors could touch the tusk.

Pat Druckenmiller, director of the University of Alaska Museum of the North, said after the theft that mammoths generally died out at the end of the Pleistocene Era 11,000 to 12,000 years ago. A few survived on islands such as Wrangel Island off northeast Siberia until about 4,000 years ago, he said.

The stolen tusk was one of several found in the mid-1980s near the Colville River, which flows into the Arctic Ocean north of the Brooks Range.

The curved tusk was mottled dark- and light-brown, about 8 inches (20 centimeters) in diameter on the large end and 6 inches (15 centimeters) in diameter at the narrow end.

Elze and Boyd on March 17, 2018, visited the small museum and asked staff about the tusk's weight and authenticity, prosecutors said. One night later, they returned. Boyd used a rock to break a window and open a door, causing $1,385.22 in damage.

The museum's video surveillance system recorded the theft.

Published: Mon, Apr 15, 2019

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