National Briefs: Man one of the first convicted for transgender hate crime
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A jury yesterday convicted a man of manslaughter as a hate crime for killing a transgender woman he shot outside a house party last year.
Dwight DeLee was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter for the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Lateisha Green outside the Syracuse party in November. He becomes just the second person in the U.S. convicted of a hate crime that involved the death of a transgender victim.
"We've spent months waiting for this day to come," said Elliot Green, an uncle who spoke on behalf of the victim's family. "The jury made it clear that any loss of life in this country because of transgender or anti-gay bias is unacceptable and will not be tolerated."
Mr. DeLee will be sentenced Aug. 18. He faces no less than 10 years in state prison and no more than 25 years. The jury acquitted Mr. DeLee, 20, of a more serious second-degree murder as a hate crime charge.
Ms. Green, who was born Moses Cannon but began living as a woman at age 16, frequently dressed in women's clothing but was wearing jeans and a T-shirt the night she was killed.
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's high-speed rail initiative would get an enormous boost under a spending bill that a House committee approved yesterday.
Mr. Obama sought $1 billion for construction of a high-speed system and other intercity rail lines, which would come on top of $8 billion provided in the economic stimulus bill in February. The House Appropriations Committee decided to provide $4 billion, part of a $123 billion measure covering transportation and housing programs.
Democrats turned back a GOP effort to take $3 billion of the rail money and deposit it in the Highway Trust Fund, which is expected to go broke next month.
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Angry Appalachian coal miners are refusing to vacation in Tennessee because they say one of that state's political leaders wants to eliminate needed jobs by banning mountaintop removal.
Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is sponsoring legislation that would bar coal companies from the controversial mining practice that involves blasting away mountaintops to unearth coal and dumping dirt, rock and trees into the valleys beneath. Such a ban would effectively halt the destructive form of mining.
Miners in Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia are taking part in the protest, said Roger Horton, director of Citizens for Coal, the pro-coal advocacy group that organized the boycott.
"He needs to mind his own business," Mr. Horton said. "Why fool with us? We have good congressmen and senators here who know what's best for West Virginia. We don't need his interference."
First Published July 18, 2009 12:00 am