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MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2007
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Nation In Brief

Candidates to debate
in cyberspace in ’08

NEW YORK — The 2008 presidential contenders may soon be slugging it out in cyberspace, with pioneering online-only debates being planned for early next fall, a new media partnership says.

The political blog Huffington Post, online portal Yahoo and Slate Magazine will host the debates — one for Democratic candidates, one for Republicans — sometime after Labor Day, with PBS host Charlie Rose serving as moderator, the sponsors planned to announce Monday.

Voters will be invited to submit questions, and can blog in real time to share their opinions on the candidates’ answers.

Man gets $9 million
after savage beating

LINDEN, Texas — A jury awarded $9 million to a black man who suffered permanent brain damage after being beaten and dumped in a field by four white men in 2003.

Billy Ray Johnson, 46, lives in a nursing home because of the injuries he suffered in the beating. In the criminal case, the men accused of assaulting him were fined and sentenced to probation and jail time, but none served more than 60 days behind bars.

In a four-day civil trial in District Court that ended Friday, jurors found James Cory Hicks and Christopher Colt Amox responsible for Johnson’s injuries. Defendants Dallas Chadwick Stone and John Wesley Owens previously reached confidential settlements, attorneys said.

Dallas-bound plane
evacuated after calls

SAN ANTONIO — About 100 passengers were evacuated from a plane destined for Dallas on Saturday after San Antonio International Airport received a bomb threat, authorities said.

The airport received several calls saying a bomb was in Terminal One, airport spokesman David Hebert said. Around 10:30 a.m., a caller referred specifically to the Dallas-bound flight.

The passengers were evacuated and the plane was taken to a safe zone where airport police and a canine unit found nothing during a search, Hebert said.

Gator enjoys sun
near Manhattan

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. — Humans weren’t the only species basking in the Northeast’s warm weekend weather, as police helped capture a small alligator sunbathing by a small pond in this Long Island town.

It was a startling sight Saturday in a community just 35 miles from Manhattan. The American alligator is native to the South and it is against New York law to own one, said Ray Gross, chief of the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The animal appeared to be about 3 years old, Gross said.

County police helped capture the alligator, which “wasn’t too happy to see us,” said Officer Vinny O’Shaughnessy.

Rock Paper Scissors
ace, 64, to compete

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A burly 64-year-old retiree who resembles jolly old St. Nick will be going mano a mano with other contestants in a national title bout — in Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Ray Scott won the New Hampshire title by advancing through eight rounds of tournaments at Manchester bars and pubs.

Next month Scott heads to Las Vegas to compete in the USA Rock, Paper Scissors League’s national competition.

If he makes the right move, he wins the $50,000 grand prize. The competition will be broadcast on ESPN.

Teen wins $25,000
for fast text skills

NEW YORK — OMG!

Thirteen-year-old Morgan Pozgar, of Claysburg, Pa., was crowned LG National Texting champion on Saturday after she typed “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” in 15 seconds.

“I’m going to go shopping and buy lots of clothes,” the teen said after winning her $25,000 prize from the electronics company LG.

Compiled from wire reports

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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