'Average Joe' Robbing Banks

LOUISVILLE--At least a dozen banks in Kentucky and Ohio have been robbed by a bespectacled man with a leather portfolio and such an unassuming demeanor that the FBI calls him "Average Joe."

"He's just your average-sized white male," Patrick Bashore, an FBI spokesman, said of the cleanshaven, casually dressed robber who wears large, black-framed glasses and baseball caps and appears to be about 35 years old. "He could be anybody's next-door neighbor. It appears he could fit in just about anywhere."

"Average Joe" poses as a customer before calmly stepping forward in line to demand money from a teller. Warning of a weapon that never appears, he takes the cash and exits quickly, though not running. The FBI believes his most recent holdup was Tuesday in Lexington, Ky., where he is now suspected of robbing three banks.

Authorities believe he is responsible for at least six bank robberies--three in Kentucky and three in Ohio--all along Interstate 75.

La. Governor Fined $20,000

BATON ROUGE, La.--Gov. Mike Foster (R) was fined $20,000 by the state Board of Ethics for failing to report more than $150,000 in payments to ex-Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke for a computerized voter list. Foster, who is running for reelection this fall, said the violation was unintentional. "I have never intentionally broken the law in my life," he said.

In an unrelated case, Louisiana election commissioner Jerry Fowler was indicted on charges he made millions of dollars through kickbacks and a money laundering scheme. He is accused of funneling $900,000 in state funds to a New Jersey investment company he partly owned.

A legislative audit found that Fowler paid more than twice what he should have for voting machines, voting machine parts and installation of the machines, ignoring the public bid law.

Fowler could not be reached for comment, but his attorney said the allegations are untrue.


* RIO RANCHO, N.M.--Georges Reding, a 74-year-old associate of assisted-suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian, was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in the 1998 death of Donna Brennan, 54, who suffered from multiple sclerosis. Reding was also indicted on charges of practicing medicine without a license, trafficking in a controlled substance and tampering with evidence after an autopsy showed Brennan died from a dose of sedatives.

* GREENCASTLE, Ind.--An Indiana businessman and his wife left $128.4 million to DePauw University in the seventh-largest gift to a U.S. college, the school said. The gift, from Ruth and Philip Holton, was earmarked for scholarships. The endowment will generate more than $6 million a year.

* ALBANY, N.Y.--A baby born so tiny that her father's wedding band could fit around her leg has beaten the odds and gone home. Katelin Elizabeth Moran weighed 1 pound, 2 ounces when she was born nearly four months premature on May 11. During her 100 days in St. Peter's Hospital, she went through operations to repair a leaky valve in her heart, retina problems in both eyes and a hernia. When she left Wednesday, she weighed 4 pounds, 5 ounces, and the perinatologist who delivered her said the baby should have no long-term problems.