Yosemite Naturalist Beheaded

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. -- A Yosemite naturalist was found beheaded along a stream near her home in a remote part of the park, and the FBI was searching a large area for clues yesterday.

Rangers found the body of Joie Ruth Armstrong, 26, on Thursday a few hundred yards from the park housing she shared with two people who were away on business at the time. She was found just a few miles from El Portal, the town where three sightseers were last seen alive in February before their bodies were found about a month later.

No charges have been filed in those slayings, and an FBI task force and federal grand jury investigating that case have said they are confident that most of those responsible are behind bars on unrelated charges.

"We have absolutely no reason to believe there is a connection" between the two cases, said FBI agent James Maddock.


SAN FRANCISCO -- A Roman Catholic bishop who resigned in scandal last week after being sued for sexual abuse by one of his priests has admitted that the two men at one time had a "personal consensual relationship." Lawyers for Bishop Patrick Ziemann of Santa Rosa issued a statement admitting to the affair but denying charges brought by the Rev. Jorge Salas that the sex was forced.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- About 100 people were forced out of their homes as the Cedar River rose to record levels. Earlier this week, the town of Waverly, which is upriver from Cedar Falls, was cut in two as the river crested 2 feet higher than the previous record set in 1993. The area was also flooded three weeks ago. In that flood, a man died and 200 homes were damaged.

MIAMI -- Former jury foreman Miguel Moya was convicted of accepting nearly $500,000 in bribes from two reputed drug kingpins, Augusto "Willie" Falcon and Salvador Magluta, for his vote to acquit them in 1996 of charges that they had smuggled 75 tons of cocaine from Colombia and made $2 billion. Both men are in prison on lesser, unrelated charges. Moya, whose first trial ended in a hung jury, could be sentenced to 138 years in prison.

CAPE CANAVERAL -- Astronauts on the space shuttle Columbia released the world's most powerful X-ray telescope into orbit. Unlike the shuttle launch, which was marred by a short circuit and a premature engine cutoff, the release of the $1.6 billion Chandra X-ray Observatory went smoothly.

MADISON, Wis. -- A company that employed seven people killed during a cross-country sales trek committed 92 labor-law violations and could face more than $250,000 in penalties, state officials said.

YES, a De Witt, Iowa, company that hires young people to go door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions, was charged with violating the minimum wage law and employing minors in street trades.

MARIETTA, Ga. -- A high school economics teacher who offered students extra credit if they gave her Teenie Beanie Babies was suspended for two months and will be transferred to another school. Carol Penland's lawyer said she planned to give the toys to foster children.

ROBARDS, Ky. -- Two workers fell to their deaths Thursday in a pit of dead chickens and chicken parts that were being processed into cat food. Authorities said James Dame, 40, fell first at the Tyson plant. A co-worker, Michael Hallum, 25, was lowered by crane to try to rescue him but was apparently overcome by fumes and fell.