News Briefs

December 27, 1995
Web posted at: 9:15 p.m. EST

Texas judge rejects new trial for Selena's killer


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (CNN) -- A Texas judge has rejected a request for a new trial for the woman convicted of killing singer Selena.

The judge dismissed claims by Yolanda Saldivar that a key witness lacked credibility and that critical financial records were withheld.

Saldivar is serving a life sentence. Her attorney is expected to appeal Wednesday's decision.

San Francisco AIDS vigil over

SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- A decade-long vigil to protest the slow speed at which AIDS drugs are approved is over.

Two weeks ago, a wind storm blew down the tents set up outside San Franciscošs old federal building. The demonstrators decided not to rebuild, figuring they had made progress in the past 10 years, and that this was a logical time to quit.

Workers removed the broken tents, along with the slabs bearing the names of those who lost their battles with AIDS during the protest.

Police chief cleared of sexual harassment


SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- San Francisco's police chief was acquitted of sexual harassment charges Wednesday. But Anthony Ribera's accuser will receive $57,000 in damages for discrimination.

Joanne Welsh, 34, claimed that Ribera, 50, harassed her for five years with words, kisses and gifts. Welsh was transferred after she made her accusation public.

A federal jury decided that the city discriminated against Welsh by informally replacing her as the police department spokeswoman and failing to pay her for two weeks of work.

Welsh plans to appeal. "I don't think that this is a new situation," she said. "I think that women can pretty much empathize with me on how difficult it is to prove to someone what happens behind closed doors."

Ribera doesn't appear to be worried about the appeal. "I can start planning my retirement with a sense of relief that this is behind me," he said. He has announced plans to resign in January because a new administration is taking over the mayor's office.

Montana highway patrol wants no free-for-all


HELENA, Montana (CNN) -- Posted speed limits are a thing of the past in Montana but speeding tickets are not.

Highway patrol officers can decide whether drivers are going too fast, depending on the weather, traffic and other factors.

One motorist was recently ticketed for driving 100 mph and fined $75. He contends that he was driving safely but the officer says that traffic was too heavy for that speed.

One prosecutor says he'll pursue cases for anyone nabbed driving faster than 80.

Bridge jumper saved by psychiatrist in row boat

SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- Talk about being in the right place at the right time. Dennis Tison, a psychiatrist, was boating in San Francisco Bay on Tuesday when he noticed a head bobbing up and down in the water.

At first, he thought it was a sea lion. But it turned out to be a man who jumped off of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridge.

Tison tossed him a life jacket and called 911 on his cell phone. The Coast Guard arrived within minutes and pulled the man out of the water. Tison, who also is a law student, took pictures of the rescue. "I was glad I was there at the proper time because the sun was setting, and with all the garbage in the ocean he wouldn't have been seen," Tison said.

The 23-year-old jumper was in serious but stable condition at San Francisco General Hospital. His name has not been released. Police said that they are treating the jump as an attempted suicide.

drug lab

Suspected drug lab blows up; three children killed

AGUANGA, California (CNN) -- Three children died when an explosion blew up a mobile home that might have housed an illegal drug laboratory, police in southern California said. The children were ages 1, 2, and 3. Their mother and two men visiting the house were burned.

Investigators said they believe methamphetamine was being made in the home. Among the debris they found highly flammable chemicals used to make methamphetamine, and glassware that might have stored such chemicals.

The mother and the two men could face charges, police said.


Gorilla killed in zoo fire was pregnant

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- One of the female gorillas who died in a fire at the Philadelphia Zoo was pregnant, zoo officials said. They said they don't know how long 28-year-old Samantha had been pregnant.

Samantha was one of 23 primates who perished in the fire early Sunday. The nation's oldest zoo is planning a memorial to honor the dead animals. The cause of the blaze is still undetermined.

Giants season-ticket holders punished for snowball barrage

snowball EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (CNN) -- The New York Giants football team is taking action against those who threw snowballs during a game Saturday at Giants Stadium. The team said it is canceling 75 season-ticket subscriptions.

The icy barrage injured 15 people and knocked a San Diego Chargers equipment manager unconscious. Fifteen people were arrested and 175 were thrown out of the stadium. Of those ejected, at least 75 were from seats held by season-ticket holders, although some might have been using friends' tickets.

Some ticket holders reportedly will sue to keep their seats. Thousands of people are on a waiting list for Giants season tickets.


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