Police say many teens knew of shooting plot

RED LAKE, Minn. – As many as 20 teenagers may have known ahead of time about plans for the shooting spree that resulted in the deaths of 10 people on the Indian reservation here March 21, tribal and federal officials said Friday. A tribal police captain told parents, teachers and staff at a school board meeting that authorities believe as many as 20 students were involved. One official said the FBI believes that as many as four students – including gunman Jeff Weise and Louis Jourdain, a classmate arrested Sunday – were directly involved in planning an attack on Red Lake High School, while well over a dozen others may have heard about the plot.

Illinois: New contraceptives rule

Gov. Rod Blagojevich issued an emergency rule Friday that would require pharmacies to accept and fill prescriptions for contraceptives without delay, after a growing number of complaints nationwide that some pharmacists are refusing to dispense birth control pills and the “morning-after” pill. He also established a toll-free number that residents can call to report refusals by pharmacies. Reproductive rights groups heralded Blagojevich’s action as the first statewide regulation to address the issue.

Pennsylvania: Ex-governor in pen

Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland arrived at a federal prison Friday to serve a yearlong sentence for corruption. Rowland was sentenced to one year and one day at the camp but will be eligible for release after 10 months. He must also serve four months of house arrest. Rowland, 47, admitted to trading access to his office for more than $100,000 in vacations, charter airline trips to Las Vegas and home repairs. Loretto, a minimum-security prison, houses 140 nonviolent offenders serving relatively short sentences.

D.C.: Washington Monument open

The venerable Washington Monument, which serves as a sort of concrete exclamation point for the National Mall’s historic sights, reopened to the public Friday after a monthslong security renovation. The more than 555-foot obelisk had been closed since September when the $15 million project began. Improvements included vehicle barriers and a new lighting system. Visitors will now be able – from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week – to travel by elevator to the top of the monument. But the surrounding 55-acres will remain off limits until late June.

Arizona: Border volunteers gather

About 450 volunteers gathered in Tombstone Friday for a monthlong effort to patrol the Mexican border for illegal immigrants and smugglers, an organizer of the project said. The idea, according to organizers of the Minuteman Project, is for the volunteers to fan out across 23 miles of the San Pedro Valley to watch the border and report any illegal activity to federal agents – an exercise some law enforcement authorities and others fear could lead to vigilante violence.

Kansas: FBI recovers explosives

Tipped that they may have missed evidence a decade ago, FBI agents searched the former home of convicted Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols and found blasting caps and other explosive materials apparently related to the 1995 attack, officials said Friday. Officials said the material was found buried in a crawl space of the house in Herington, which wasn’t checked by agents during the numerous searches of the property during the original investigation of Nichols and Timothy McVeigh.

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