Republican Rep. Rick Renzi was charged Friday with extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other crimes in an Arizona land swap that authorities say helped him collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in payoffs. A 26-page federal indictment unsealed in Tucson accuses him and a former business partner of extortion and conspiring to promote the sale of land that buyers could swap for property owned by the federal government. Renzi, a three-term member of the House, announced in August he would not seek re-election.
School bus deaths lead to charges
The driver of a van involved in a school bus crash in southwestern Minnesota that killed four children was charged Friday with four counts of criminal vehicular homicide and two lesser charges, authorities said. The woman identified herself as Alianiss Nunez Morales, 23, of Minneota, but authorities said that is not her real name. She told investigators she was from Mexico, and immigration officials believe she is in the country illegally. They were trying to figure out her true identity. She failed to stop at a stop sign Tuesday before hitting the bus, a prosecutor said. The woman was also charged with driving without a valid license. Larry Moat told police he was driving behind the bus and saw the van "moving at a fairly good speed" before it ran the stop sign and hit the bus.
Bush library site approved at SMU
Southern Methodist University will be home to President Bush's presidential library, officials announced Friday after a yearlong approval process that some faculty and religious opponents tried to derail. The decision became official as SMU's board of trustees approved an agreement with the Bush Foundation, which will manage construction and raise the expected cost of more than $200-million. First lady Laura Bush is an SMU graduate, and the couple is expected to live in Dallas when Bush leaves office.
Elderly investment scam nets 29 years
An 81-year-old man was sentenced to 29 years in prison Friday in an investment scam that prosecutors say seeped across half the country and bilked 1,800 people, many of them elderly, of about $190-million. John Heath, who was convicted along with his son Daniel Heath and another man, was ordered to pay $117-million in restitution to clients who invested through him. Jurors found the three guilty of running a Ponzi scheme.
No accident: Amid the search for a former Bolingbrook, Ill., police officer's fourth wife, an autopsy on the exhumed body of his third wife found what relatives long suspected: Her death was no accident. Kathleen Savio's death was ruled a homicide, Dr. Larry Blum said in an autopsy report released by the state's attorney's office. She was found dead before her divorce with Drew Peterson.