Originally created 04/03/02

Across the southeast



Anti-violence programs save money, study says

RALEIGH, N.C. -Money spent to deter domestic violence under a federal law saved nearly 10 times the cost through reduced medical, police, court and lost work expenses, a university researcher said Tuesday.

Her study showed that, between 1995 and 2000, as the federal government spent $1.6 billion under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, the cumulative cost of domestic violence declined $14.8 billion.

On an individual basis, the act costs $15.50 per woman in the United States and saves an estimated $159 each, the study said.

"Protecting people in our society from being victims of domestic violence feels really good," said researcher Kathryn Andersen Clark, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Indictment alleges large prostitution ring

NEW ORLEANS -Fifteen people were indicted Tuesday on federal charges of operating a nine-city prostitution ring based in New Orleans for more than seven years.

According to an indictment handed up in New Orleans, the ring also operated in New York, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Biloxi, Miss., Houston and Grand Rapids, Mich.

Charges included conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of a prostitution enterprise, interstate travel in aid of racketeering, conspiring to launder money, money laundering and conspiring to possess marijuana with intent to distribute.

Man in attack threat unbalanced, niece says

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -A Kentucky man jailed after threatening to use a stolen propane truck as a "3,000-pound bomb" against President Bush has a history of mental problems, a family member said Tuesday.

Monty Ray Branch has been a patient at mental hospitals at least three times, most recently in late February, niece Miranda Duvall said. A Bradley County judge said Tuesday he would wait a week before deciding if Mr. Branch, 29, should be released on bond.

Ms. Duvall said she and other family members have been interviewed by federal agents since Mr. Branch was arrested Sunday afternoon after a 20-mile chase along Interstate 75. The chase ended when officers spiked the tires of the propane truck.

Ms. Duvall said Mr. Branch, from Frankfort, Ky., has had previous mental "episodes" where he claimed to be God.