Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Briefs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Briefs

Article excerpt

NATION

WASHINGTON

Insurer Indicted In Espy Inquiry

The nation's second-largest crop insurance company and its chief executive were indicted Thursday on federal charges of making $46,000 worth of illegal campaign contributions to the brother of former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy.

The charges against Crop Growers Corp., chief executive officer John H. Hemmingson and former executive Gary A. Black stem from an investigation by special prosecutor Donald C. Smaltz. The indictment is the second resulting from the investigation into allegations of corporate favors received by the former agriculture secretary.

The 17-count indictment alleges the company and its two executives made contributions to the Henry Espy for Congress Committee and tried to hide them on the company books.

AP

KANSAS

Mother Handed Two Life Terms

A woman who pleaded no contest to charges of murdering two of her children was sentenced Thursday to two life prison terms plus 20 years.

For the first time in several court appearances, Debora Green showed visible emotion, sobbing as she read a two-page statement in which she said she would bear responsibility for her children's deaths the rest of her life.

Green said a combination of alcohol, psychiatric problems and family strife "set the stage for this tragedy." Green, 45, a nonpracticing onco logist, was charged in Johnson County District Court with aggravated arson and two counts of capital murder in the deaths of her 13-year-old son, Tim Farrar, and 6-year-old daughter, Kelly Farrar. The children died in an Oct. 24 fire at their home in Prairie Village, Kan., an upscale suburb of Kansas City.

AP

CALIFORNIA

Columnist Reports He Has Cancer

Herb Caen, the legendary San Francisco newspaper columnist, broke the news to his readers Thursday that he has inoperable lung cancer.

Caen's humorous column in the San Francisco Chronicle had an uncharacteristically serious tone Thursday as the 80-year-old newspaperman explained why his column, which he has taken pride in writing daily for decades, has appeared only sporadically of late.

"The point, dear friends and beloved enemies, is also like nothing I'd ever expected to experience. I have lung cancer," the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist wrote in the moving front-page column, headlined "A word to you about the way it is with me."

He said the cancer was inoperable but he was receiving chemotherapy.

Reuters

CAPITOL HILL

Bill Would Curb Young Pilots

A House panel thinks if you're too young to vote or drive or get a pilot's license, you're not old enough to try flying across the country.

The House Aviation subcommittee passed a bill Thursday that would prevent cross-country flight attempts by children under 17, the federally set minimum age for obtaining a flying license. Last month's attempt that claimed the life of 7-year-old Jessica Dubroff prompted the legislation. …

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