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Pregnancy link to dropouts rebutted

Despite widely held beliefs to the contrary, teen-age pregnancy has little or no effect on high school dropout rates or infant mortality, researchers said Friday. Scientists at Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University said their study of 5,400 teen-age women found that teen-age mothers are not more likely to drop out of school than their childless classmates, regardless of age or race. The researchers said the only overall effect of motherhood on dropout rates is that, of teen-agers who do leave school, those with children are least likely to return. Former police official indicted DETROIT - A federal grand jury has indicted a former deputy police chief on charges that he defrauded investors of millions of dollars.

Kenneth Weiner, a security consultant, and two other men were indicted late Thursday. Weiner allegedly lured investors with his connections to Detroit city officials, according to the indictment.

Innocent plea made in computer case CHICAGO - A 19-year-old Missouri man has pleaded innocent to federal charges that he broke into the 911 emergency telephone network for nine states, then published information on its access to other computer buffs. Craig Neidorf, a student at the University of Missouri, was indicted earlier this month along with Robert Riggs, 20, who will be arraigned next week. Prosecutors said the two used computers to enter the 911 system of Atlanta-based Bell South,

Neidorf's trial is scheduled to begin April 16.

Barry's attorney voices optimism WASHINGTON - Marion Barry's attorney has signaled that he will use some of the same tactics to defend the Washington mayor that he successfully deployed in the last major perjury case in the nation's capital: portraying Barry as a victim of persecution and attacking witnesses' credibility. "I've tried three perjury cases before and I don't think perjury charges are the hardest to defend against," lawyer R. Kenneth Mundy told reporters Thursday after Barry was indicted on three felony perjury counts and five misdemeanor charges of cocaine possession. Mundy reminded reporters that two years ago he persuaded jurors to acquit the former president of the city's public university of five perjury charges as well as of mail fraud and theft.

Owner sentenced for dog's attack SAN JOSE, Calif. - The owner of a pit bull that mauled a two-year-old boy to death was sentenced Friday to three years and eight months in prison. The owner, Michael Patrick Berry, 40, told the judge that he was "full of nothing but remorse" after his dog attacked James Soto in June 1987. The case was the first in the nation in which a defendant was convicted of manslaughter for the actions of a pet. The dog, named Willy, has been kept at a county animal shelter. Officials said it will be put to death.

Pastor charged with bookmaking BALTIMORE - A pastor has been charged with running an illegal lottery out of a historic city church. Police on Thursday raided the Ebenezer A.M.E. church and 13 homes allegedly used as substations for the bookmaking operation. The Rev. Wendall Christopher, 39, was charged with allowing the church to be used for an illegal lottery, police said. Assistant pastor Jerome Berry, 58, and his wife, Mary Berry, 49, were charged with operating the lottery. Authorities said the arrests were partly a result of wiretaps placed on the pastor's phone after police were tipped off by members of the congregation who were offended by the operation.

Witness: Alcohol on skipper's breath ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The first Coast Guard investigator to board the Exxon Valdez after its grounding testified Friday that skipper Joseph Hazelwood's breath had "a very intense and very obvious" smell of alcohol. Mark Delozier also said that Hazelwood, who is on trial for felony criminal mischief and other crimes in the nation's worst oil spill, appeared to be trying to hide the alcohol smell by covering his mouth and drinking coffee. A forensic toxicologist testified earlier that blood and urine samples taken from Hazelwood 10 1/2 hours after the accident showed the alcohol level was 0.061 percent in his blood and 0.094 percent in his urine. The blood-alcohol level was under the Alaska state limit of 0.10 for driving a vehicle, but above the

federal limit of 0.04 for operating a commercial vessel.