washington state
Man, 37, pleads not guilty in ricin scare

The FBI arrested a man Wednesday in connection with a case in which a pair of letters containing the deadly poison ricin were discovered last week.

A grand jury indictment accused Matthew Ryan Buquet, 37, of mailing a death threat to U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle at the federal courthouse May 14. The U.S. Postal Service said two letters intercepted last week contained ricin in a crude form that did not immediately pose a threat to workers.

Buquet appeared in federal court in Spokane and pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

— Associated Press

Los Angeles elects Garcetti as mayor

City Council member Eric Garcetti defeated Controller Wendy Greuel to become mayor of Los Angeles after a caustic campaign.

With all precincts reporting Wednesday, Garcetti had 54 percent of the vote against Greuel, who notched 46 percent. Both are Democrats.

Garcetti, 42, will be the city’s first elected Jewish mayor when he takes office July 1. He will succeed Antonio Villaraigosa.

— Associated Press

50 Chicago schools to close despite outcry

The Chicago Board of Education voted Wednesday to shutter 50 schools, the largest number of schools closed at one time by any major U.S. city.

The board, appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), opted to close 49 elementary schools and one high school after the current academic year ends. It decided to keep open four schools that had been recommended for closure by Chicago Public Schools chief executive Barbara Byrd-Bennett.

The decision came amid protests from the Chicago Teachers Union, parents and some Chicago aldermen. The country’s third-largest school system, Chicago is facing a $1 billion budget shortfall.

— Lyndsey Layton

Ex-soldier seeks charges dropped: A former U.S. Army soldier accused of trying to provide support to a terrorist organization in Somalia after he left the military has asked a court to dismiss the case. A lawyer for Craig Baxam of Laurel wrote in a motion filed Monday in federal court in Greenbelt that he never attempted to contact al-Shabab. Baxam served as an intelligence analyst in the Army from 2007 to 2011.

national security

— Associated Press