Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, an eight-term congressman and Vietnam War fighter pilot, pleaded guilty to graft and tearfully resigned Monday, admitting he took $2.4 million in bribes mostly from defense contractors in exchange for government business and other favors. He could get up to 10 years in prison at sentencing Feb. 27 on federal charges of conspiracy to commit bribery and fraud, and tax evasion. Cunningham was charged in a case that grew out of an investigation into the sale of his home to a defense contractor at an inflated price.
Oklahoma: Winds fan wildfires
High winds on Monday hampered crews who for a second day battled wildfires that destroyed homes, forced hundreds to evacuate and injured firefighters in parts of Oklahoma and Texas. Fires burned across 50,000 acres in 15 counties, Oklahoma Emergency Management spokeswoman Michelann Ooten said. The wind also fanned grass fires in at least six northern Texas counties on Sunday.
N.Y.: Man allegedly pushed, killed
A Brooklyn man was charged Monday with pushing a friend with whom he was arguing onto subway tracks in Queens, where he was struck by a train and killed, police said. Richie Molina, 19, was arrested Sunday in the death of Edison Guzman, 22, police said. Molina faces two counts of murder in the second degree, which is punishable by 25 years to life in prison.
Virginia: Asphalt leaks into river
A barge filled with more than 1 million gallons of hot liquid asphalt ran aground Monday, leaking 8,400 gallons into the James River, five miles south of Richmond, officials said. The Coast Guard was investigating. A state environmental spokesman said there was no evidence of any substantial damage to aquatic life.
From Herald news services