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story.lead_photo.caption Flames shoot out of a kitchen vent Friday at Prestigio restaurant in Hazleton, Pa. Firefighters used an aerial truck to rescue people, including two babies, from the third floor of the building.

Charges dropped in couple's pot arrest

GUTHRIE, Okla. -- Oklahoma prosecutors have dropped all charges against two people arrested for marijuana possession during a June traffic stop who contended they were delivering the cannabis for a dispensary.

Prosecutors authorized the release of marijuana seized from Daniel Richard Arthur and Rebecca J. Davis, in addition to $5,400 in cash, The Oklahoman reported.

Arthur and Davis, both 40, were arrested June 4 after Logan County sheriff's deputies found 21 pounds of pot and charged the pair with felonies for "unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute."

The criminal case dismissals on Thursday underscore the uncertainty around Oklahoma's new medical marijuana law that voters approved in 2018.

"Part of me wants to tell my guys, 'Hey, if they got dope, just let them go,'" said Sheriff Damon Devereaux. "It is frustrating, but we're always willing to learn something new. It's not our intent to violate anybody's rights."

Tyler Box, Arthur and Davis' defense attorney, said they were delivering marijuana from an Enid dispensary to another in Edmond. The pot, appraised at $55,000, will be returned to the Enid business, Box noted.

Earlier this year, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a medical marijuana measure that expands the framework for the medical cannabis industry. It goes into effect in August.

It also will require dispensary employees to carry a medical marijuana transporter license when transporting product and for transport vehicles to be equipped with a GPS tracker.

4th girl charged in video of teen's beating

CHICAGO -- Police said a fourth teenage girl has been charged in Chicago in the beating of a 15-year-old special needs girl that was recorded on cellphone video and shared online.

Chicago police said in a statement Thursday night that the 15-year-old was taken into custody and is charged as a juvenile with aggravated battery. Police earlier Thursday announced that three girls ages 13, 14 and 15 were charged as juveniles, two of them with aggravated battery and one with mob action.

In the video, the girl waves her arms as she tries to fend off her attackers. The video was posted by someone who described herself in the caption as a friend of the girl, who she said has a "mental disability."

The girl, whose name has not been released, had been missing from her South Side home several days before the attack occurred Monday. She was found Tuesday evening and was treated at a hospital and released.

U.S. OKs off-roading near tribal sites

SALT LAKE CITY -- The U.S. government will allow off-road vehicles access to some archaeologically sensitive land at a Utah national monument that houses sacred tribal sites under a plan announced Friday.

The Bureau of Land Management's plan for the Bears Ears National Monument says that certain historic sites considered most at-risk will be off limits as the agency chose an alternative plan that closes about 42 square miles to off-road vehicles. That's far less than a different option that would have closed nearly 184 square miles.

The plan was met by immediate criticism from environmental and tribal organizations who say it will leave sensitive lands and sites vulnerable to damage.

"It's like seeing that your grandmother's house has been robbed," said Carleton Bowekaty, co-chairman of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, in a statement. "These lands are sacred to us and they are being destroyed -- sometimes inadvertently -- by people who don't understand our culture and way of life."

Bureau of Land Management Utah state Director Ed Roberson said in a news release that the plan protects cultural resources while allowing for recreation, keeping most of the monument open for hunting, fishing and target shooting. Roberson noted that no shooting will be allowed near cliff dwellings, petroglyphs and campgrounds.

President Barack Obama created Bears Ears National Monument in 2016 after years of lobbying by American Indian groups who asked for more protections.

A year later, President Donald Trump downsized it by about 85% to 315 square miles following a review of 27 national monuments by then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Malware attack delays school's start date

DOTHAN, Ala. -- An Alabama school system is delaying the start of classes because of what officials describe as a malware attack on its computers.

Houston County Superintendent David Sewell said at a news conference Thursday that an apparent attack on the school system's servers affected phones and computers in the southeast Alabama system.

Sewell couldn't confirm the extent of the attack and didn't go into details about what happened. But officials learned the system had been hacked on Tuesday.

School will begin Aug. 5, rather than on Thursday, because of the problem. Sewell said workers are reinstalling systems and trying to get computers running normally.

Officials wouldn't say whether payroll or student information was affected.

-- Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports

A Section on 07/27/2019

Print Headline: Charges dropped in couple's pot arrest 4th girl charged in video of teen's beating U.S. OKs off-roading near tribal sites Malware attack delays school's start date

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