NATION IN BRIEF

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Restaurateur Questioned In Attempted Sale of Snake

SHELBY, Miss. -- A restaurant owner is under investigation after he apparently tried to sell the meat of a cottonmouth moccasin to customers, police said.

Eddie Boone, a city worker, said he sold the owner of James Quality Market the venomous snake, which he had killed with a pipe while he was cleaning streets.

Boone said that while he was showing off the snake Thursday, the owner of a combination grocery store and restaurant "came out and asked me if he could buy the snake for a dollar."

Police Chief Bobby Joe Williams went to the market after Boone mentioned the odd business transaction to police. The owner gave him the snake, which already had been skinned and filleted, Williams said.

In Kalamazoo, Donors Will Foot College Costs

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- High school graduates in Kalamazoo who want to attend a state college or university will get as much as 100 percent of their tuition paid under a new program underwritten by anonymous donors.

Starting with the Class of 2006, all tuition and mandatory fees at Michigan public colleges will be covered for graduates who have been enrolled in Kalamazoo public schools since kindergarten. Partial scholarships will be available to students who entered the district after kindergarten.

The program's benefactors wanted anonymity, officials said.

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LITTLE ROCK -- A Roman Catholic civil rights group called off a boycott of Wal-Mart after the world's largest retailer apologized for an employee's e-mail that called Christmas a mix of world religions. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Thursday that a customer service employee named Kirby had written an inappropriate e-mail to a woman who complained that the retailer had replaced a "Merry Christmas" greeting with "Happy Holidays." It also said Kirby no longer works for Wal-Mart.

CHILTON, Wis. -- A man who spent 18 years in prison for a rape he did not commit will be charged with killing a woman whose vehicle was found near his home, a prosecutor said. Steven Avery's blood was found inside Teresa Halbach's sport-utility vehicle, said Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz, who plans to charge Avery with first-degree intentional homicide by Tuesday. Avery has denied involvement in the disappearance of Halbach, 25, who was last seen Oct. 31.

TRENTON -- Worshipers at black churches in 20 states will be urged this weekend to consider organ donation. The program Linkages to Life is aimed at raising awareness about organ donation among blacks, who suffer higher rates of diseases that damage the liver and kidneys. The fourth annual effort will take place at nearly 60 churches. Instead of just asking churchgoers to sign organ donor cards, as in the past, speakers will urge audience members to talk about the issue with their families, said Victoria Dent, national chairwoman of Linkages.

-- From News Services


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