Originally created 05/24/04

Across the southeast



Car driven by boy, 12, kills 2-year-old girl

LARGO, FLA. - A 2-year-old girl was run over and killed when she chased after her father, who was letting a 12-year-old boy drive a car in a parking lot.

The boy was getting his first chance to drive Saturday.

Summer Wolfe was knocked down by the passenger door when the car in which her father sat lurched backward, and she fell under the front wheel. She was pronounced dead after being airlifted with her mother to Bayfront Medical Center.

Police questioned the 12-year-old boy but did not file charges. Investigators said the boy was driving with Mr. Wolfe's approval but did not have control of the car.

Police say gangs are leaving for rural areas

DOBSON, N.C. - Hispanic gangs are moving out of North Carolina's big cities and targeting more rural areas where law enforcement is less likely to be aware of their activities, law enforcement officials say.

Until this month, gang graffiti was the only sign Surry County's law enforcement officials had been aware of, interim Dobson police chief Sgt. Shaun Meyers said.

That was before law officers diverted about 60 young men and children from a vacant lot behind Dobson's library May 14. Rival Latino gangs planned to meet there to battle over which would claim the library as their turf, Sgt. Meyers said.

A gang fight was avoided, the chief said, because police and school personnel learned in advance that the groups planned to meet and the youths from Dobson, Elkin and Mount Airy - who ranged from young teens to age 21 - were turned away by police and school officials. There were no charges.

Edwards, Bowles trade compliments

RALEIGH, N.C. - Erskine Bowles heaped praise Sunday on U.S. Sen. John Edwards, referring to him at least three times as "the next vice president."

Mr. Edwards then called Mr. Bowles "somebody I'll be proud to have occupy my seat."

It might have been hard to tell who was campaigning for whom, but on this day - officially, anyway - it was Mr. Edwards backing Mr. Bowles by making his first appearance to support the Democrat's Senate campaign.

The two held a brief news conference in a crowded room of about 60 supporters at Mr. Bowles' campaign headquarters.