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Judge: House speaker must testify at  lawmaker’s trial

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — A federal judge says a Michigan legislative leader must testify at the trial of a lawmaker who’s charged with attempted extortion, bribery and lying to an FBI agent.

House Speaker Lee Chatfield, a Republican, isn’t accused of wrongdoing himself. But prosecutors want to ask him questions about Republican Rep. Larry Inman during the trial that starts this week.

Inman is accused of trying to solicit campaign donations from a trade union in exchange for voting against legislation to repeal a law guaranteeing higher wages for construction workers on state-financed projects.

District Judge Robert Jonker last Tuesday rejected Chatfield’s attempt to quash a subpoena.

Jonker says his testimony is important to the jury’s evaluation, and a legislator isn’t immune from testifying in federal court when a lawmaker is facing charges.


Man who told immigrant to go back to country asked to write essay

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A homeless man who yelled at a Ukrainian immigrant to go back to his own country, spat in his face and threatened to slash him was sentenced to 90 days in jail and asked to write a 500-word essay explaining the challenges people face in starting new lives in the United States.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Harold Eugene Denson III pleaded no contest to unlawful use of a weapon and second-degree bias, a hate crime under Oregon law, for targeting the victim based on his national origin.

But in an unusual plea deal, a judge agreed to dismiss the bias charge if Denson writes the essay.

Denson has until late March to write the essay, otherwise he will be convicted of the bias charge and could face additional punishment.

Denson said he appreciated the opportunity.

He was arrested Aug. 25 after the incident with the victim, Artem Kutuzov, outside a VW dealership in Portland where Kutuzov works.

Investigators say the incident happened after Kutuzov walked up to Denson with a trash bag and a request that he pick up belongings that had spilled onto the dealership’s property.


Hikers answer plea to find wedding ring lost on mountaintop

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — A man’s quest to find his wedding ring on a 4,000-foot snow-covered mountain in New Hampshire has been completed by a couple of hikers — and a metal detector.

WMUR-TV reports Bill Giguere, of Massachusetts, recently lost the gold band on Mount Hancock.

Giguere, who had been wearing it for three years, put out a plea to a hiking group for help.

Tom Gately saw the post but had doubts about finding the ring along the 10-mile loop trail Giguere hiked.

Giguere said the most likely spot was at a lookout where he changed gloves.

Gately and fellow hiker Brendan Cheever set out with a metal detector.

Cheever said: “It beeped and he’s, like, ‘I think I found it,’ and everybody’s, like, ‘What?’ and he just started scratching in the snow. There it was!”

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