Top Powerball Winner

Guilty of Driving Drunk

BECKLEY, W.Va. -- Record Powerball lottery winner Jack Whittaker will spend five days on home confinement and lose his driving privileges for at least 90 days after pleading guilty to drunken driving.

Whittaker entered his plea to first-offense driving under the influence Wednesday. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped charges of carrying a concealed weapon, failing to maintain control of a vehicle and failing to submit to a preliminary Breathalyzer test.

Magistrate Rick Jones gave Whittaker a choice in sentencing -- 24 hours in jail or five days of home confinement.

State troopers arrested Whittaker, 57, of Scott Depot, on Nov. 30 after his southbound Hummer struck a concrete barrier on the West Virginia Turnpike near Beckley, according to an incident report the troopers filed.

Whittaker became an instant celebrity on Christmas Day 2002 when he won a nearly $315 million Powerball jackpot, the largest undivided lottery prize in U.S. history.

* FRANKLIN, Mass. -- An editor for the publishing company that puts out the Weekly Reader children's newspaper was fired after he allegedly solicited sex from a minor over the Internet. Noel E. Neff, 46, of Norwalk, Conn., was arrested by FBI agents last Saturday at the Franklin Village Mall, where authorities say he expected to meet a 14-year-old boy named Chris whom he met online in April. "Chris" was actually an undercover FBI agent.

* BOISE, Idaho -- A woman pleaded guilty to scalping a mohawk-wearing teenage girl, blaming the attack on mental illness and her drug addiction. Marianne Dahle, 26, entered the plea to the charge of aggravated battery as her trial was to begin Wednesday. She faces up to 15 years in prison. Prosecutors said Dahle tied up the 15-year-old girl Jan. 18 and used a four-inch knife to cut away the entire crown and back portion of her scalp.

* NEW YORK -- An upper Manhattan supermarket under demolition partially collapsed Thursday, sending rubble onto a busy sidewalk and into the street. Five people, including a 7-month-old baby, were hurt. One person broke both arms and legs, but no one's injuries were life-threatening, officials said.

* TRENTON, N.J. -- A charter flight operator whose plane skidded off a runway, crossed a highway and slammed into a warehouse earlier this year had poorly trained its crew and falsified weight records, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The agency levied a $1.8 million fine against Platinum Jet Management, saying in a July 8 letter that the company, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., "operated the aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another."

* RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. -- A wind-driven brush fire raced up a coastal hillside toward multimillion-dollar homes, alarming residents until firefighters got the best of it. Firefighters stationed next to back yards sprayed the fire with streams from hoses Wednesday while helicopter pilots bombed it with water. The 100-acre blaze, which was fully contained early Thursday, had threatened as many as 300 homes on this peninsula 25 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.

-- From News Services