Originally created 10/03/04

Across the southeast



Store makes money with naughty Barbies

PITTSBORO, N.C. - Barbie's being bad.

The wholesome, if sometimes surreal, beauty of the iconic doll is taking on a different twist under the influence of photo lab owner Anne Baker.

She has coerced Barbie and her friends to ditch the sequin gowns and pink roadsters for sexy outfits, outrageous poses and delinquent behavior.

Plastic dolls line four long shelves in her store, called Annie B and the Black and White Guy.

There's a cross-dressing male doll with long, hot-pink hair and a tight miniskirt. A "Jailbait Barbie" stands behind bars, wearing a pink-and-white-striped uniform and an identification number. An eight-legged black widow doll crawls up a spider web, with Ken wrapped in her webbing. "She's a man-eater," the sign says.

The dolls are sold for as much as $125 each.

Judge forbids school's free-speech zones

LUBBOCK, TEXAS - In a major decision affecting the way public universities allow public speech, a U.S. District Court judge knocked down a Texas Tech policy that establishes free-speech zones.

Judge Sam Cummings ruled partially in favor of Tech School of Law graduate Jason W. Roberts, who contended that the university violated his First Amendment rights by requiring him to move a speech he planned to give into a free-speech zone.

The ruling declared that a public institution designating free speech exclusively to such zones is unconstitutional.

"I think it's a big victory for us," said one of Mr. Roberts' attorneys, Hiram Sasser of the Liberty Legal Institute.

"(Judge Cummings) did what I thought would be the harder decision."

That decision will affect colleges across Texas and the nation.

All-terrain vehicle crash kills 9-year-old

CITRA, FLA. - A 9-year-old girl was killed after the all-terrain vehicle she was riding crashed into a fence.

Jamie Mason died at Shands Hospital in Gainesville after suffering severe head injuries in the crash near a neighbor's house.

Jamie, who was not wearing a helmet, was riding with 6-year-old Jonathan Vann along a dirt road. The boy, who was driving, lost control and struck a fence, and Jamie crashed headfirst into a post, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.