Across the Southeast

Escaped prisoner is busted in tour bus


DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. - An escaped prisoner who evaded a manhunt across the Southeast by stealing three vehicles, including singer Crystal Gayle's tour bus, has been arrested, authorities said.

Christopher Daniel Gay, 32, was arrested about 11 p.m. Friday at Daytona International Speedway where he had been watching a race, said Lt. Patrick Myers, a spokesman for Daytona Beach Police.

Mr. Gay escaped from a prisoner transport van Jan. 21 near Hardeeville, S.C., police said. Authorities have said his motive for fleeing was to see his terminally ill mother; it was unclear whether he ever made it there.

Authorities suspect Mr. Gay of stealing a pickup in South Carolina, and then the cab of a tractor-trailer in Georgia. He allegedly drove to Manchester, Tenn., where on Monday he reportedly hooked the cab to a Wal-Mart trailer filled with $300,000 in merchandise and took off again.

Students retrace Freedom Riders' trip

MONTGOMERY, ALA. - One hundred college students joined Freedom Riders on a trip organized by Vanderbilt University on Saturday to retrace their 1961 journey from Montgomery to Birmingham.

The Riders told stories of that time along the way. Southern states had tried to circumvent bus and railway desegregation rulings with their own policies, which usually involved whites sitting in the front and blacks giving up their seats. Blacks who disobeyed were arrested and fined.

In 1961, the Congress on Racial Equality decided to protest the de facto segregation by organizing what became known as Freedom Rides.

Shevaun Evans, a 23-year-old graduate student from Vanderbilt, said the story of the Freedom Riders should inspire people today to continue the fight against discrimination.

"It's about awareness," Mr. Evans said. "...We're the people who can educate the future."