In Brief


Drug maker sued over gambling addiction

A longtime school board member says she piled up at least $25,125 in gambling debt at tribal casinos because of compulsive behavior caused by a prescription drug.

Jeanette Amavisca filed a federal lawsuit in February against the maker of the drug Mirapex, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. Similar suits are pending nationwide based on research that shows the drug can trigger irrational, addictive and bizarre behavior in some patients.

Amavisca, 58, said she began taking the drug several years ago because of pain from a 1971 car accident. Her suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, claims the drug made her a pathological gambler, eventually causing her to file for bankruptcy in 2005.

FRESNO, Calif.

Deputy mayor quits over allegations

Fresno’s deputy mayor has resigned after allegations he sexually harassed one of his assistants.

But a lawyer for Deputy Mayor Roger Montero says his client was forced out and is considering suing the city.

Attorney Poncho Baker said Montero, 57, quit Friday after City Manager Andy Souza said he would be fired for creating a hostile workplace environment.

Montero denies any improper behavior since he was hired in 2001.


Ex-SLA fugitive gets full sentence restored

A former Symbionese Liberation Army fugitive who hid for years by posing as a housewife had a year restored to the sentence she is serving for trying to bomb police cars.

In 2001, Sara Jane Olson, formerly known as Kathleen Soliah, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 14 years in prison for trying to bomb police cars in 1975 with the SLA, the group best known for kidnapping newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst.

The state Board of Prison Terms had reduced Olson’s sentence by a year. But the state attorney general’s office appealed that decision, and an appeals court panel restored her full sentence Thursday.


Last chance to try rattlesnake, alligator

Diners with adventurous palates have less than two months to try rattlesnake, alligator and other exotic meats.

The restaurant Taboo by the Delta is closing June 1 when its owner retires after 10 years in business.

Along with gators and rattlesnake, Taboo served shark, frog legs and turtle.

The name of the restaurant reflects the hidden allure of “things that are forbidden. Things that would hurt you,” owner Jesse “Boo” Burkett said. “People just buy into it.”

Burkett said he stopped serving kangaroo and black bear in 2004 after the California Department of Fish and Game told him it was illegal.

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