Around the nation

2013-02-08T00:00:00Z Around the nationFrom Wire Reports From Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star
February 08, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Washington

Seattle mayor ends police drone plan

SEATTLE - Seattle's mayor on Thursday ordered the Police Department to abandon its plan to use drones after residents and privacy advocates protested.

Mayor Mike McGinn said the department will not use two small drones it obtained through a federal grant. The unmanned aerial vehicles will be returned to the vendor, he said.

The decision comes as the debate over drones heats up across the country. Lawmakers in at least 11 states are looking at plans to restrict the use of drones over their skies amid concerns the vehicles could be exploited to spy on Americans.

Missouri

2 of leader's kin leave Westboro church

KANSAS CITY - Two granddaughters of Westboro Baptist Church firebrand Fred Phelps have split with the Topeka, Kan.-based congregation, indicating their views have evolved and they now regret the pain they have caused others.

One of them, 27-year-old Megan Phelps-Roper, had been a highly visible member of the church who spoke to media outlets and spread its message via Twitter.

She and a younger sister, Grace Phelps-Roper, in November left the congregation known for its anti-gay stance and for picketing funerals of fallen soldiers and others.

Tennessee

'666' stamp on W-2 leads man to quit job

NASHVILLE - A Tennessee maintenance worker says he quit his job because his W-2 tax form was stamped with the number 666.

Walter Slonopas, 52, told The Tennessean that accepting the number would have condemned his soul to hell. That number is considered the "mark of the beast" in the Bible's Book of Revelation describing the apocalypse.

The company that handles payroll for Contech Casting LLC said the number meant Slonopas' form was the 666th one mailed out.

A company spokesman said Contech would send a new W-2 and wants to rehire Slonopas. But Slonopas said, "God is worth more than money."

New York

Terror suspect pleads guilty in phony plot

NEW YORK - A Bangladesh native accused of trying to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in New York with what he thought was a 1,000-pound car bomb pleaded guilty Thursday to terrorism charges stemming from an FBI sting.

"I had intentions to commit a violent jihadist act," Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis said in a soft voice while entering the plea in federal court in Brooklyn.

Nafis, 21, had been charged in October with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaida. He faces a sentence of 30 years to life at his next court date on May 30.

Police: Kiss used to pass drugs at jail

PENN YAN - Police said an upstate New York woman passed drugs to her son while kissing him when she visited him in jail.

Sheriff's deputies in Yates County told local media outlets that 54-year-old Penn Yan resident Kimberly Margeson was visiting her son last week when she hid oxycodone pills and passed them from her mouth to his while giving him a kiss. Police haven't said how the drugs were discovered.

Margeson pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of criminal sale of a controlled substance and promoting prison contraband. She was free after posting bail.

Wire reports

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