BOISE, Idaho – A 2-year-old boy who died from kidney failure last month had been infected with the same strain of E. coli bacteria that prompted a nationwide consumer warning on fresh spinach, health officials said Thursday. Kyle Allgood was the second confirmed death in the outbreak, which also killed an elderly Wisconsin woman and sickened at least 190 other people. The boy died Sept. 20 in Salt Lake City after developing a type of kidney failure caused by E. coli. Health officials had to wait for the results of genetic testing on the bacteria to determine whether his illness was from spinach.
Massachusetts: Transit searches
Boston police will resume random bag inspections on Boston’s subways for the first time since the city hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2004, Gov. Mitt Romney said Thursday. Romney, a Republican weighing a 2008 run for president, said the inspections for possible explosives were not a response to any immediate threat, but that police recognized that transportation systems are vulnerable to terrorist attacks.
California: Gays lose wedding fight
A state appeals court ruled Thursday that California’s ban on gay marriage does not violate the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians, a critical defeat for a movement hungry for a win after high courts in New York and Washington state upheld similar bans. In reversing the March 2005 ruling of a San Francisco trial judge, the 1st District Court of Appeal agreed with the state’s attorney general, who argued it is up to the Legislature, not the courts, to change the traditional definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Judge releases Karr in porn case
The former suspect in the JonBenet Ramsey killing left jail Thursday after a judge dismissed child pornography charges against him, saying prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence to take the case to trial. John Mark Karr, 41, was ordered released immediately by the Sonoma County Superior Court judge, ending his two-month odyssey in the U.S. criminal justice system after he was extradited from Thailand on suspicion of killing the 6-year-old beauty queen.
Louisiana: New Orleans population
Fewer than 190,000 people are living in New Orleans a year after Hurricane Katrina, according to a door-to-door survey released Thursday. The population of 187,525 is about 41 percent of the 454,000 people estimated to be living in Orleans Parish before the storm hit Aug. 29, 2005. A spokeswoman for the Louisiana Recovery Authority called the results “the definitive, most precise set of numbers we’ve seen.” In a recent report, he estimated there were about 230,000 people in the city.
Wisconsin: School guns suggested
A state lawmaker, worried about a recent string of deadly school shootings, suggested arming teachers, principals and other school personnel as a safety measure and a deterrent. It might not be politically correct, but it has worked effectively in other countries, Republican Rep. Frank Lasee said Wednesday. “To make our schools safe for our students to learn, all options should be on the table,” he said. “Israel and Thailand have well-trained teachers carrying weapons and keeping their children safe from harm. It can work in Wisconsin.”
Pennsylvania: Horseplay fatality
A man accused of dangling his girlfriend from a 23rd-story window before she fell to her death can be tried for murder, a judge has ruled. A judge in Harrisburg rejected defense motions Wednesday to limit the charge against Kevin Eckenrode to manslaughter. Authorities say Eckenrode, 25, was holding Rachel Kozlusky by her wrists outside his high-rise apartment during alcohol-fueled horseplay when she slipped and fell Feb. 25. His attorney has argued that Eckenrode had no desire to hurt Kozlusky and that her fall was an accident.
Florida: Teacher gets two years
A former teacher was sentenced in Pensacola Wednesday to two years in state prison for having sex with a student. Janelle Marie Bird, 25, had previously been found guilty of two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and two lesser counts of unnatural and lascivious acts. She faced up to 30 years in prison. Bird admitted having a relationship with a 15-year-old boy at East Hill Christian School. Both testified during the trial that they loved each other.