November 27, 1995
Web posted at: 10:53 p.m. EST
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Air traffic controllers warned travelers in the New York area Monday that they are venturing into unsafe skies, and voiced concerns for their industry in a forum at New York's LaGuardia airport.
The controllers argued that repeated equipment and computer failures and chronic shortages of personnel raised serious questions about air traffic safety in the metropolitan area.
But William Jeffers, the Director of Air Traffic for the FAA, called the current computer system "the safest in the world." And, he said, the FAA will install the most advanced computer system available by 1998.
CLEVELAND, Ohio (CNN) -- The air traffic control computer at the Cleveland Center shut down twice Monday, causing 95 delays for flights leaving Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Cleveland. Takeoffs of flights destined for those airports also were delayed.
Art Benzle, assistant air traffic manager for the center, said the system was operating normally Monday after the initial shutdown at 6:55 a.m., which lasted for 11 minutes.
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti is turning over the perjury investigation of former Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman in the O.J. Simpson case to the state attorney general's office.
"I did this because I thought it was imperative to the public and to Mr. Fuhrman that not only there actually be fairness in this process but there be a total appearance of fairness," Garcetti said Monday.
During the Simpson case, the defense claimed Fuhrman committed perjury when he said he had not used a racial epithet in the past 10 years. But the district attorney's office took the position that any lies Fuhrman may have told about racial epithets were not "material" to the case.
Under California law, for false testimony to be considered perjury, it must be intentional and material to the case being tried, Garcetti said.
If Fuhrman is convicted of perjury he could spend up to three years in jail.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI Monday joined the investigation into the mysterious disappearance of millionaire furniture heiress Jackie Levitz. Four FBI agents met Monday in Vicksburg, Mississippi with state and local officials who fear the wealthy socialite was murdered in her home last week.
Investigators found blood on Mrs. Levitz' bedroom mattress, and on the floor of her home, but no sign of the 62-year-old woman. Local officials said it appears purses were missing, and believe robbery may have been the motive of whoever entered her home.
Jackie Levitz is the widow of furniture magnate Ralph Levitz who died last March at the age of 82. Mrs. Levitz moved from Palm Beach, Florida to her native Mississippi just a few weeks before her disappearance.
Washington (CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court Monday rejected an appeal by anti-abortion demonstrators in Sacramento, California, who had been ordered to pay almost $100,000 in legal costs incurred by an abortion clinic they targeted.
The clinic incurred the legal costs when it sued to bar the demonstrators from blocking the entrance.
The high court, without comment, refused to hear the protesters' claim that being forced to pay the clinic's legal bill infringed on their rights to free speech.
In other action, the justices refused to consider an Alabama lawsuit that accused the South's timber industry of illegally preventing blacks from becoming wood wholesalers.
The high court also refused to hear a Tennessee student's claim that her free speech rights were violated when a ninth-grade teacher gave her a zero for doing a research paper on the life of Jesus Christ.
MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- The U.S. Coast Guard plans to return about 600 Haitians intercepted aboard an unstable freighter in international waters.
The vessel was spotted Saturday about 170 miles southeast of Miami, near Andros Island in the Bahamas. Another 516 refugees picked up in international waters last Tuesday were sent back on Friday.
Meanwhile, a rickety boat crowded with Haitians headed to the United States capsized over the weekend, and authorities said 47 people may have drowned, independent Radio Metropole said on Monday.
Local authorities in the northwestern town of Port-de-Paix have already recovered seven bodies, the report said.
The tide of Haitian refugees has slowed since democratically-elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was returned to power last year. But Haitians who still attempt the trip are routinely sent back.
SALEM, Oregon (CNN) -- A man and a woman, wrongly imprisoned for murder for more than four years, were released from prison Monday by an Oregon judge.
Laverne Pavlinac, 62, and John Sosnovske, 42, were convicted in the January, 1990 strangling of Taunja Bennett.
Last month the local district attorney said the murder had been committed by Keith Hunter Jesperson, who has pleaded guilty to the slaying of Bennett and another woman and claims to have killed six other women.
Pavlinac had been arrested and convicted after telling police that Sosnovske, then her boyfriend, was responsible for the murder of Bennett.
She originally said she held a rope around Bennett's neck while Sosnovske raped and killed the 23-year-old woman.
Pavlinac said in court that she had invented the story as a way to get out of an abusive 10-year relationship.
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