WASHINGTON: U.S. oversight for NY juvenile jails
The Justice Department announced a deal Wednesday in which four upstate New York juvenile detention centers will be placed under federal oversight, strict new limits will be imposed on the use of physical force by guards, and dozens of psychiatrists, counselors and investigators will be hired. The accord, pending approval by a federal judge in U.S. District Court in Albany, comes almost a year after the department threatened to take over the state's juvenile justice system unless New York took significant steps to rectify problems at the four prisons, where physical abuse was rampant and mental health counseling was scant or nonexistent. A probe that began in 2007 found the Finger Lakes Residential Center and Lansing Residential Center in Lansing, and two residences, one for boys and one for girls at the Tryon Residential Center in Johnstown, systematically violated juveniles' constitutional rights.
Cheney receives a heart pump
Former Vice President Dick Cheney disclosed Wednesday that he underwent surgery last week to install a small pump to help his heart work, as the 69-year-old enters a new phase of what he called "increasing congestive heart failure." "The operation went very well and I am now recuperating," a still-hospitalized Cheney said in a statement. The surgery took place at Inova Fairfax Heart and Vascular Institute in Washington's Northern Virginia suburbs, where Cheney was receiving care Wednesday.
FLORIDA: 'Barefoot Bandit' needs a lawyer
The teenager dubbed the "Barefoot Bandit" will cool his heels in a Miami jail at least two more days while he sorts out which attorney will represent him. At his first U.S. court appearance Wednesday since his arrest in the Bahamas, Colton Harris-Moore, 19, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Dube he thought his mother had hired a lawyer but he didn't know the attorney's name. "I'd like to speak with my mom first," said Harris-Moore, dressed in a standard tan prison jumpsuit, sandals and white socks. He added that he last spoke to his mother, Pam Kohler, "about a week ago." Dube set another hearing for Friday morning to determine Harris-Moore's legal representation, whether he should be released on bail and when he should return to Seattle to face an alleged two-year string of crimes. Harris-Moore is suspected in about 70 burglaries, thefts and other property crimes in eight states and British Columbia, including thefts of aircraft - one of which he allegedly flew from Indiana to the Bahamas.