Nation roundup for March 22
Pediatricians back marriage for gays
CHICAGO (AP) — The nation’s most influential pediatrician’s group says gays should be allowed to marry to help ensure the health and well-being of their children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics’ new policy, published online Thursday, cites research showing that the parents’ sexual orientation has no effect on a child’s development. Kids fare just as well in gay or straight families when they are nurturing and financially and emotionally stable, the academy says.
The academy believes that a two-parent marriage is best equipped to provide that kind of environment. Their policy says that if a child has two gay parents who choose to marry, “it is in the best interests of their children that legal and social institutions allow and support them to do so.”
The policy cites reports indicating that almost 2 million U.S. children are being raised by gay parents, many of them in states that don’t allow gays to marry. The academy announced its position Thursday. Officials with the group said they wanted to make the academy’s views known before two gay marriage cases are considered by the U.S. Supreme Court next week.
“We wanted that policy statement available for the justices to review,” said Dr. Thomas McInerney, the academy’s president and a pediatrician in Rochester, N.Y.
Tex. suspect killed after police chase
DECATUR, Texas (AP) — A man who may be linked to the slaying of Colorado’s state prison chief led authorities in Texas on a harrowing, 100-mph car chase Thursday that ended after he crashed into a semi and then opened fire before being shot down by his pursuers, authorities said.
The man is still unidentified and is “basically legally deceased” while still hooked up to equipment for organ harvesting at a Fort Worth hospital, Wise County Sheriff David Walker told an afternoon news conference in Decatur.
The possible link to the Tuesday night slaying of Colorado prison director Tom Clements is tentative but intriguing enough to put Colorado investigators on a plane to Texas. The black Cadillac the man drove, with Colorado license plates, matches the description of a car spotted outside Clements’ home just before the Department of Corrections chief was fatally shot while answering his front door.
“We don’t know yet exactly whether this is the guy,” Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said Thursday. “There’s some indication. I hope it is.”
Teens die after botched break-in
MAYPEARL, Texas (AP) — A teen who stole medication and a cache of weapons and ammunition from his parents’ home in Oklahoma had a history of running away, but authorities still don’t know why he and a friend may have been trying to break into a Texas home where they ultimately died after a botched break-in.
Authorities believe Kenneth Chaffin, 17, ran away from his home in Bethel Acres, Okla., on Monday. A national alert was issued Wednesday morning. That afternoon, Chaffin and friend Dillian King, 18, died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds 250 miles away from Bethel Acres on a remote ranch in Maypearl, Texas, authorities said.
A woman at the home noticed someone in a camouflage vest at her back door on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. She called her husband, who came home and fired at the teens with two deer rifles, hitting one. By the time Ellis County sheriff’s deputies arrived, both teens were dead.
Woman pepper sprays workers
UPPER DARBY, Pa. (AP) — Police say a Philadelphia-area woman returned to a dollar store where she’d been banned and pepper-sprayed employees who tried to escort her out before giving the can to her 7-year-old daughter and asking her to continue the fight.
Upper Darby police say 27-year-old Delaina Garling went to the Family Dollar Store on Monday, a place she’d been banned from for alleged theft. When employees tried to escort her out, police say she doused them with pepper spray.
Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood says after employees tackled Garling, she handed the can to her daughter and said: “You know what to do, baby. Spray it!” Chitwood says the girl never used the spray.
Garling is charged with simple assault and other counts.
A telephone message left for her was not immediately returned.
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