Originally created 04/10/03

Across the southeast



4 officers convicted in corruption scandal

MIAMI -In the biggest Miami police scandal in a generation, a federal jury convicted four officers of corruption Wednesday for planting a gun on an unarmed homeless man or lying to cover it up. Four others were acquitted, and the jury deadlocked on charges against three more.

The officers, once members of elite undercover teams, stood with blank expressions as the verdicts were read. Attorney Al Levin winced and shook his head as his client, Oscar Ronda, was convicted on three of four counts against him.

The convicted officers face as much as 10 years in prison at sentencing Aug. 22.

The officers were charged after four police shootings in the mid-1990s wounded the homeless man and left three other people dead. One of the victims, an elderly drug suspect, died in a hail of more than 100 bullets.

Governor frees father who shot molester

BATON ROUGE, La. -Gov. Mike Foster granted early release to a man imprisoned for shooting his 12-year-old daughter's molester, saying the father should not serve more time than the girl's attacker.

Mr. Foster gave Allie "Bo" Johnson double credit for good behavior, allowing him to go free after serving nearly three years of a seven-year sentence for attempted manslaughter.

"This does not mean I condone his actions," Mr. Foster said in a statement. "I do not support taking the law into your own hands."

The case has drawn widespread attention, including a petition drive calling for Mr. Johnson's release.

Home gets trial run of high-speed service

POTOMAC, Md. -The walls in a one-story brick home in suburban Washington don't talk, but its power outlets do.

From those outlets pour streams of digital video, interactive games, online radio stations and services familiar to people who use cable or telephone modems to get high-speed Internet connections. This technology that delivers broadband through ordinary electric wiring should be commercially available to some consumers this year.

"This is within striking distance of being the third major broadband pipe into the home," said Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell, who visited the house Wednesday for a preview of the technology.

The home is part of a trial project run by Current Technologies, a company based in Germantown, Md. The company, working with the Potomac Electric Power Co., is providing broadband over power lines to about 70 homes in Maryland. Another trial offers the service in suburban Cincinnati.

Utility companies including PPL Corp. in Allentown, Pa., and Ameren Corp. in St. Louis also are conducting test programs with consumers.

Broadband can be up to hundreds of times faster than dial-up service and can deliver a wider range of services, including high-quality video.