UTAH
Planned Parenthood funds can be cut off

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Utah can cut off federal funds to the state’s Planned Parenthood organization, a move the Republican governor ordered after the release of secretly recorded videos by an anti-abortion group.

The ruling from U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups reversed an earlier decision temporarily ordering the money to keep flowing to the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah.

His ruling allows Utah to cut off funds to Planned Parenthood while the organization pursues its lawsuit against the state.

Like Utah, other states have moved to cut funding to Planned Parenthood chapters. The organization has filed lawsuits in Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana to block them from stripping contracts and federal money distributed by the states.

The Planned Parenthood Association of Utah sued the state in October, arguing that Gov. Gary Herbert’s move to block the money violated the group’s First Amendment right to advocate for or perform abortions.

Herbert stopped about $275,000 in federal funds for sexually transmitted disease testing and sex education programs. His move followed the release of the undercover videos by a California antiabortion group. The activists claim the videos show Planned Parenthood officials in Texas and other states discussing the use of fetal tissue from abortions.

Planned Parenthood in Utah argued that Herbert was acting in response to unproven allegations that the officials illegally sold fetal tissue from abortions for medical research.

— Associated Press

NEVADA
Murder charges for driver on the Strip

An Oregon woman accused of plowing her car into a crowd on the Las Vegas Strip, killing one person and injuring dozens of others, was charged with murder Tuesday as investigators sought to find a reason for her actions.

Lakeisha N. Holloway, 24, who was arrested after the incident on Sunday, has been charged with murder with a deadly weapon in the death of a 32-year-old Arizona woman.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said in a statement that more charges could be filed as the investigation continues.

Police said Holloway had been living in the car with her 3-year-old daughter. She has also been charged with child abuse or neglect, for having the child in the car during the incident, and with leaving the scene of a collision, according to the criminal complaint filed in Clark County court.

Police said Holloway repeatedly drove onto the sidewalk, ramming pedestrians and street posts as bystanders pounded on her windows and tried to pull open her car door to stop her.

The incident occurred near Planet Hollywood, where the Miss Universe beauty pageant was being held.

Holloway was held without bail and was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

— Reuters

PENNSYLVANIA
New trial for church official sent to prison

The landmark conviction of a Roman Catholic Church official imprisoned over his handling of sexual abuse complaints against priests was overturned Tuesday for the second time.

The state Superior Court ruling awarded a new trial to Monsignor William Lynn, who has been on a legal roller coaster since his 2012 trial on child-endangerment charges.

The appeals court said the trial judge erred in allowing weeks of testimony from 21 other accusers to show how the Archdiocese of Philadelphia handled sex abuse complaints that dated to 1948. The three-judge panel wrote that the judge went too far in permitting the “other-acts evidence.”

Lynn, 64, was convicted of endangering a police officer’s son who said he was sexually assaulted as a boy by two priests and a teacher, including a previously accused priest who was transferred to his parish. Lynn was the first church official charged over his handling of abuse complaints.

— Associated Press

Robbery bid leads to gunfire at N.Y. mall: Pandemonium erupted Tuesday at a Long Island mall filled with holiday shoppers when an attempted robbery led to gunfire, sending crowds of people running and screaming and leaving a mall employee in serious condition with a gunshot wound, authorities said. A suspect was in custody. Acting Nassau County police commissioner Thomas Krumpter said the assailant entered the Rolex section of a Tourneau store at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City around 1 p.m. A struggle with store security ensued, and a gun went off. It is unclear to whom the gun belonged, but police said it was “highly likely” it belonged to the suspect.

— Associated Press