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Thursday, January 8, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Nation Digest

Kentucky jailer, inmate take road trip to remember

A deputy jailer and a convicted burglar he was supposed to be taking to jail in Kentucky were arrested yesterday after going on a 100-mile drunken road trip in a law-enforcement vehicle and making false arrests, authorities said.

The jailer and inmate were caught after drivers began calling authorities to report a drunken duo was making traffic stops, state Trooper Ralph Lockard said. They allegedly let the drivers go after accepting cash bribes.

The deputy jailer, Clarence Wilson, 37, has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation, Knox County Judge-Executive Raymond Smith said. Wilson was charged with drunken driving, impersonating an officer, unlawful imprisonment and official misconduct.

"I couldn't believe this happened," Smith said. "The next thing you're likely to hear is that we're on the 'Jerry Springer Show.' "

Death toll rises to six in Pennsylvania highway pileup

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Police investigating Tuesday's pileup of about 50 vehicles on Interstate 80 in central Pennsylvania confirmed two more deaths yesterday, bringing the total number of fatalities to six.

The death toll could continue to rise. State troopers and the Centre County coroner's office were still trying to locate several missing people.

The chain-reaction crash, about 65 miles northwest of Harrisburg, happened when a snowstorm caused a whiteout. About 30 tractor trailers and 20 passenger vehicles were involved. Police said they could not reach all the vehicles involved until yesterday because of hazardous-materials spills and stubborn fires that lasted into the night.

Governor asks constituents for chance to win back trust

HARTFORD, Conn. — Gov. John Rowland asked Connecticut's citizens for the chance "to earn back your trust" Wednesday as he delivered a televised address. His request came amid growing pressure on Rowland to resign for accepting gifts for the renovation of his summer cottage and then lying about it.

The three-term Republican again apologized for his actions, saying, "I lied, and there are no excuses." But he insisted he never provided favors or took actions in exchange for the gifts.

The address came a day after federal agents issued a subpoena for the governor's personal financial records.

Probe targets judge who allegedly left child, 4, alone

ATLANTA — A juvenile-court judge will be barred from hearing abuse, neglect and adoption cases while she is being investigated for allegedly leaving her 4-year-old daughter home alone.

A majority of Fulton County judges voted Tuesday to allow Juvenile Court Chief Judge Nina Hickson to hear only delinquency cases.

Social workers said the judge neglected her child by leaving her home alone at night Nov. 29 while she went to the airport to retrieve luggage.

Hickson's daughter was found wandering the street late at night. The girl was not wearing shoes or a jacket when she was picked up by a passing limousine driver, who contacted police. Police returned the girl to Hickson.

Police and the court system are investigating.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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