ARIZONA: Sweat lodge guru convicted
A self-help guru was found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide Wednesday in a case that shined a spotlight on a deadly sweat lodge ceremony that ended with disoriented and unconscious participants being dragged to safety. A jury convicted James Arthur Ray, deciding against manslaughter in favor of the lesser charge. He faces a maximum of nearly 12 years in prison. More than 50 people participated in the October 2009 sweat lodge during Ray's five-day "Spiritual Warrior" seminar near Sedona. Three died following the sauna-like ceremony and 18 people were hospitalized. Prosecutors and defense attorneys disagreed over whether the deaths and illnesses were caused by heat or toxins. Ray's attorneys called it a tragic accident.
NORTH DAKOTA: Town braces for high water
On plastic sheeting hung over the apartment building, someone had spray-painted the word "pray" and drawn a line labeled "1969", the level where floodwaters had reached the last time the Souris River climbed out of its banks in Minot. That line was just 2 feet above ground, but the water is expected to climb far higher in parts of the Air Force town in the coming days as the little-known waterway swells from rain and snowmelt. As many as 10,000 people raced to evacuate Wednesday as water began spilling over Minot's levees. The river, which begins in Saskatchewan, Canada, and flows a short distance through North Dakota, was all but certain to inundate homes and businesses in the next week.
WASHINGTON: Suspect in shooting spree
A Marine reservist detained during a security scare Friday near the Pentagon has been linked to the shootings last year at the Marine Corps museum in Quantico and several D.C.-area military recruitment stations, officials said Wednesday. Ballistics evidence appears to link Yonathan Melaku, 22, of Alexandria, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Ethiopia, to the shootings. He was being held on unrelated larceny charges involving car break-ins after the shootings.