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FLORIDA: U.S. settles anthrax suit

More than a decade after tabloid photo editor Robert Stevens became the first victim of the 2001 anthrax attacks, the U.S. government has agreed to pay his widow and family $2.5 million to settle their lawsuit, according to documents released Tuesday. Stevens, 63, died Oct. 5, 2001, when a letter containing deadly anthrax spores was opened at the then-headquarters in Boca Raton of American Media Inc., publisher of the National Enquirer, Sun and Globe. Eventually four other people would die and 17 others would be sickened in similar letter attacks, which the FBI blames on a lone government scientist who committed suicide. The widow, Maureen Stevens, sued in 2003, saying government negligence caused her husband's death by failure to adequately safeguard anthrax at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md. The FBI probe concluded that Fort Detrick was the source of the spores used in the attacks in New York, Washington and Florida. Government attorneys said the settlement is not "an admission of liability or fault on the part of the United States."


CALIFORNIA: N.J. man held in girl's death

Arthur Morgan III, 27, of New Jersey, suspected of killing his 2-year-old daughter by tossing her into a creek while she was still strapped in her car seat, was arrested Tuesday at a home in San Diego. He was taken to the San Diego County jail, where he will remain pending extradition proceedings. The body of Tierra Morgan-Glover was found partly submerged in a creek near a roadway overpass in Shark River Park in Wall Township. Cause of death was listed as "homicidal violence, including submersion in water."

Not-guilty plea in shootings

A man charged in a shooting rampage at a Southern California hair salon pleaded not guilty Tuesday to killing his former wife, Michelle Fournier, and seven others. Scott Dekraai, 42, was arraigned in Santa Ana on eight counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

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