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Father pleads no contest

LOS ANGELES _ A Southern California man who originally was charged with vehicular manslaughter in the traffic death of his 6-year-old son pleaded no contest to violating the state seat-belt law and was fined $22.50. The infraction was the only remaining charge or citation against Walter G. Sylvia Jr., 49, in a case that drew national attention and was targeted by authorities as a model for seat-belt safety. Last week the Los Angeles County district attorney's office withdrew a vehicular manslaughter charge, which carried a one-year jail term, after authorities reviewed the case and determined the Malibu man had suffered enough anguish from his son's death.Baby boom to follow ice storm

DES MOINES, Iowa _ Central Iowa hospitals are bracing for a late fall baby boom believed linked to a March ice storm that left many homes without heat or electricity for days. Des Moines hospitals that offer childbirth classes report sharp increases of enrollment among families expecting babies in late November or early December. Health professionals speculate most of those babies were conceived in early March after a storm that toppled power lines and left many homes without electricity for as long as three days. "It's just our general idea that's what happened," said Pam Stephens, the receptionist at Gynecology and Obstetrics M.D.s in Des Moines.

Cabbies' wives take on gambling

CHICAGO _ A group of cabdrivers' wives, fed up with their spouses' gambling, led police to an eatery where 20 men were arrested on gambling charges. One wife didn't stop with calling police, said Officer Roger O'Brien. She also wrote letters to the district commander complaining about her husband's gambling losses. In addition, the commander received complaints from North Side residents because many cabs frequently were parked near the M & M Restaurant. Several wives called police, some anonymously, to complain that money needed to pay family bills was being lost by their spouses at the restaurant, O'Brien said. The restaurant owner was charged with operating a gambling house.

Editorial employees join paper walkout

NEW YORK _ About 800 Daily News editorial workers struck Friday rather than accept management's order to cross picket lines set up by eight other unions at the financially troubled tabloid. Management at the nation's second-largest city daily flew in the replacement workers to help circumvent a violent strike that began Thursday night when 1,800 employees walked out. Substitutes were imported from Tribune Co. newspapers in Orlando and Chicago. Officials of the Daily News, which is owned by the company, said the paper would be on newsstands this weekend. Daily News director of labor relations Edward Gold said the paper would begin replacing workers if they failed to show up at work "as soon as possible." The newspaper has 2,600 unionized employees.

Elsewhere . . .

BARAGA, Mich. _ The U.S. Treasury said it will pay $1.6-million to Indians in Michigan's Upper Peninsula for land they gave up more than 100 years ago.

DAYTON, Ohio _ Police said Friday they were searching for a man who left home _ and his bride of two weeks _ after seeing himself on a television program featuring fugitives from the law. Kenneth Stanton, who had lived near Dayton for about a year, was watching the show Unsolved Mysteries with his wife when a story was aired about a man who molested 11 girls in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.

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