Airline Mechanic Arrested

In Alleged Bid to Stop Jet

DENVER -- A Frontier Airlines mechanic was arrested after he allegedly threw a wheel block into the running engine of a plane preparing for takeoff. According to an arrest affidavit, Corydon Van Dyke Cochran, 44, wanted to prevent the plane from departing because he feared it was unsafe after having been hit by lightning on an earlier flight.

* INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Supreme Court temporarily blocked a new state law requiring sheriffs to post the photographs and addresses of convicted sex offenders on the Internet. The justices put the law on hold until they can decide whether it is constitutional.

* CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A judge ended 20 years of court oversight of West Virginia's schools, saying the state is making an honest effort to narrow the funding gap between rich and poor districts. While lawmakers never made the changes he envisioned, state Circuit Judge Arthur Recht praised a 1998 law that offers more money to poorly performing schools.

* BOSTON -- The fugitive mobster brother of University of Massachusetts President William Bulger was sighted in London a few months ago sporting a gray goatee, the FBI said. A British businessman who had met James "Whitey" Bulger years ago spotted him in September -- the most reliable tip on his whereabouts in three years. The mobster, a longtime FBI informant, fled in 1995, just before his indictment on charges of racketeering, extortion and drug trafficking. He was also charged with involvement in the murders of 21 people.

* NEW YORK -- A Roman Catholic priest who confessed to having sex with a 13-year-old boy says he himself was molested as a teenager by another priest, and then was pressured by church officials to keep quiet after he came forward with the allegations two years ago. The Rev. Michael Hands of Long Island leveled the allegations in a deposition given as part of a lawsuit that the boy's parents plan to file against the diocese.

* VATICAN CITY -- Pope John Paul II has accepted the resignation of a Mississippi bishop whose diocese faces two lawsuits seeking $75 million in connection with the church sexual abuse scandal. The Vatican gave age as the reason for accepting the resignation of Bishop William Houck, 76, of the Jackson diocese. The Vatican requires bishops to offer their resignation when they turn 75. The pope named Monsignor Joseph Latino, vicar general of the Houma-Thibodaux diocese in Louisiana, as the new bishop of Jackson.

* ATLANTA -- Morris Brown College announced that it will abridge its 15-week spring semester into seven weeks so students can complete classes before an accreditation appeal hearing. Last month, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools revoked the accreditation of the private, historically black college. Until its appeal hearing in March, Morris Brown can retain its accredited status. If the college loses its appeal, students will not be eligible for federal financial aid.

-- From News Services