6 Ga. Camp Counselors

Charged With Murder

CLEVELAND, Ga. -- Six counselors at a state-run wilderness camp for troubled boys were charged with murder in the death of a 13-year-old boy with asthma who was restrained for more than an hour.

A White County grand jury handed up the charges of felony murder, child cruelty and involuntary manslaughter Monday.

"This is all based on the criminal negligence or reckless conduct of these individuals," said White County District Attorney Stan Gunter. "It was due to the restraint, and how they applied it, that has led to these charges."

Travis Parker died April 21, a day after he was held face down by counselors at the Appalachian Wilderness Camp in Cleveland, in the north Georgia mountains. The boy had angrily confronted one of the counselors for withholding food from him as punishment.

Parker had asthma and was denied his inhaler during the restraint. A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide. Charged were counselors Mathew Desing, Ryan Chapman, Paul Binford, Torbin Vining, Johnny Harris and Phillip Elliott.

Chicago Duo Charged

In Hiring Scandal

CHICAGO -- Two city officials were charged Monday with running a system that gave well-connected applicants a break during job interviews and faked interview scores to ensure they were hired.

Robert Sorich and Patrick Slattery, both 42, were charged with mail fraud as an 18-month federal investigation into a corruption-ridden city truck hiring widened to City Hall hiring practices. Both men were fired Monday, said Jodi Kawada, deputy press secretary for Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Sorich and Slattery were "part of a scheme involving massive fraud in the hiring process going back more than a decade," U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald said.

Daley, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, has promised to clean up corruption in City Hall, recently pushing out four department heads and accepting the retirement of a fifth.

* ATLANTA -- The billboard shows five casually dressed men and women standing arm in arm, along with a simple message: "We are your neighbors. And . . . we are gay." The sign, posted along a stretch of nightclubs and restaurants in midtown Atlanta, is part of the first wave of a statewide campaign that Georgia's largest gay and lesbian group hopes will change attitudes. "For so long, extremists have used gays and lesbians as a means to further their own agendas," said Chuck Bowen, executive director of Georgia Equality. "The purpose of this campaign is to let people know we're no different than anybody else."

* PHOENIX -- A man suspected in the abduction of his two children in Arizona and the killings of the youngsters' grandparents and an uncle was arrested in Mexico, officials said. The children, 18-month-old Bryan Cervantes and Jennifer Cervantes, 3, appeared to be unharmed and were in the custody of Mexican authorities, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. Their father, Rodrigo Cervantes Zavala, was arrested near Puerto Vallarta.

* PHILADELPHIA -- The city's former treasurer was sentenced to 10 years in prison on corruption charges Tuesday in a federal investigation that came to light when an FBI bug was discovered in the mayor's office. Corey Kemp, 36, was found guilty in May of taking part in a scheme to trade city contracts for gifts, favors and cash. The case hinged on telephone calls, secretly recorded by the FBI over nine months, in which Kemp and Democratic fundraiser Ronald A. White talked about shaking down businessmen for contributions and other payments.

* TAMPA -- Prosecutors charged an 8-year-old boy with aggravated manslaughter for kicking and punching his infant half sister and then hitting her in the face with a two-by-four, killing her in May. If convicted, he could be held in a juvenile facility until his 21st birthday.

* OAKLAND, Calif. -- Former Black Panthers are hoping the phrase "Burn Baby Burn" will help their nonprofit organization market a new product: hot sauce. The Huey P. Newton Foundation, named for the co-founder of the 1960s militant group, is seeking to trademark the phrase that for many brings to mind the racially charged 1965 Watts riots in Los Angeles that left more than 30 people dead, at least 1,000 wounded and hundreds of buildings in ashes. The new sauce is aimed at "anyone who wants to have an extra savory boost to their food," Executive Director David Hilliard said in an interview.

-- From News Services

Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton, who was slain in Oakland in 1989, is shown in this 1971 photo.