Man, 87, gets a 35-year term for bombing
Samuel Volpendesto grabbed onto the armrest of his wheelchair Wednesday and shakily lifted himself to his feet before asking a federal judge for mercy, saying, "I want to die with a little honor." But U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman had to impose a 35-year prison sentence — the minimum allowed under law — despite the reputed Outfit associate's age. A federal jury convicted Volpendesto, 87, in December of building a pipe bomb used in a 2003 attack on a rival video poker business in Berwyn, Ill.
'Birther' sergeant to be discharged
The Air Force said Wednesday it is discharging Staff Sgt. Daryn Moran, a hero of the so-called birther movement who refused to report to duty in Germany earlier this month because he doubts President Barak Obama's citizenship. Although the 41-year-old Nebraska man refused to report to duty and called for Obama's arrest in statements on websites, other things contributed to his discharge, including his opposition to Obama's decision to allow gays to serve openly in the military. He has served nine years in the Air Force.
End to union law repeal bid sought
Ohio Gov. John Kasich and top Republican lawmakers said Wednesday they are offering to discuss weakening a new law limiting collective bargaining in an attempt to keep a repeal effort off the November ballot. Kasich's administration released a letter asking for a meeting Friday to discuss a compromise with 10 union leaders involved with We Are Ohio, the group pushing for the repeal. The law bans public employee strikes for more than 350,000 workers. It allows public worker unions to negotiate wages but not health care, sick time or pension benefits.
ST. PAUL, Minn.
Pawlenty will not seek Senate seat
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Wednesday definitively ruled out a 2012 campaign for the U.S. Senate after ending his Republican bid for the White House a few days ago. Dispelling speculation he might take on freshman Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar next year, Pawlenty, 50, told the Associated Press: "I don't know what I will be doing next. However, I will not be running against Amy in 2012."
Terrorism suspect ruled competent
A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 24, accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound jetliner on Christmas Day 2009, is competent to stand trial. U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds made the decision after asking Abdulmutallab a series of questions to find out if he understood the charges against him. The trial date is set for Oct. 4.
Turkey plant working: Minnesota-based Cargill Inc. has resumed limited production of ground turkey at an Arkansas plant linked to a salmonella outbreak. Federal officials say the outbreak sickened 107 people in 31 states as of Aug. 11.
Secret Service agent arrested: Daniel Valencia, 40, a Secret Service agent on assignment in Decorah, Iowa, to help with presidential security, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence Saturday. Valencia was off duty at the time.