IN BRIEF


BABY INTERRUPTED VIDEO GAME

26-year-old Reno man pleads guilty to child abuse charges

A 26-year-old Reno man has pleaded guilty to child abuse charges after flying into a rage he says was triggered by the crying baby interrupting his video game.

William Miskelly faces two to 20 years in prison for seriously injuring his girlfriend's 4-month-old boy by shaking him violently.

He's to be sentenced in April on the charge of child abuse causing substantial harm related to the brain and vision injuries to the infant.

Authorities say the baby's mother left Miskelly with the child on Christmas Eve while she ran an errand.

Miskelly told Reno detectives he shook the infant for about a minute to try to make him stop crying while playing a video game. He says the baby's head snapped back and forth before he threw him onto a bed.

HOME FORECLOSURE SCAM

Man convicted of cheating banks and Oahu homeowners

A Nevada businessman is facing prison after being convicted of cheating banks and two Oahu homeowners out of their homes and loan proceeds.

A jury convicted John Gilbert Mendoza, 58, last week of 22 felony counts, including conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.

Hawaii U.S. District Attorney Florence Nakakuni said Mendoza told homeowners he had a plan to get them out of foreclosure. Instead, Nakakuni said Mendoza organized sales to third-party buyers who obtained loans under false pretenses that Mendoza deposited into his own accounts -- $431,000 in all.

Sentencing in Hawaii U.S. District Court is set for June 1.

EFFORT TO RAISE MONEY

Hollywood sign draped with 'Save the Peak' panels

Crews have covered the world-famous Hollywood sign with panels reading "Save the Peak."

It's part of a campaign by a nature preservation group to save an adjacent Los Angeles hilltop from development.

Trust For Public Land spokesman Tim Ahern said the letters will be covered through Tuesday.

The group has raised about $7 million of the roughly $12 million needed to buy the Cahuenga Peak property from the Chicago area-based owners. The owners had announced plans to develop the 138-acre parcel into luxury homes.

BOARD CONSIDERS BARRIERS

Golden Gate Bridge a step closer to having suicide nets

Directors of the agency that oversees the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco have moved a step closer to approving a suicide barrier along the historic span.

The board voted 16-0 to approve an environmental impact report that examines the consequences of hanging steel nets 20 feet below the bridge deck on each side.

About 25 people per year die in jumps from the bridge. Suicide prevention activists have long pushed for the barrier, while detractors have argued the money would be better spent on mental health services.

The bridge district needs $50 million for the project -- $5 million for a detailed design and $45 million for construction.

SETS WORLD RECORD

Ohio man gives 7,777 hugs to people outside Paris Las Vegas

A 51-year-old Ohio man has embraced the Valentine's Day spirit faster than anyone before, giving 7,777 hugs in 24 hours for a world record.

Jeff Ondash, who sought the squeezes under the costumed alter ego Teddy McHuggin, broke the record Saturday night outside the Paris Las Vegas.

Guinness World Records officials said the previous record of 5,000 hugs in one day was set last year by Siobhan O'Connor in Dublin, Ireland. Ondash also holds the one-hour hugs record with 1,205.

WANTED TO ADOPT CHILD

Arizona woman indicted in the case of missing baby

Authorities say a Scottsdale, Ariz., woman who wanted to adopt a baby missing since late December has been indicted in the case.

Prosecutors said Friday that a Maricopa County grand jury has charged 37-year-old Tammi Smith with conspiracy to commit custodial interference and forgery, both felonies.

Tempe police arrested Smith on Feb. 2 on suspicion of trying to pressure the father of 9-month-old Gabriel Johnson into signing over his parental rights. Smith was released from jail the next day and has denied any involvement in the baby's disappearance

 

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