News In Brief - July 2, 2007

Plane crash victim remains in serious condition

CORDOVA -- The pilot of a small plane that crashed near a home here remained in serious and guarded condition Sunday, a nursing supervisor at Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia said.

Bill Mitchell, 67, was flown to the hospital after crashing his two-seater near Dry Swamp airport Friday, said John Smith, director of Orangeburg County Emergency Services. No one on the ground was injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the accident.

Muslim woman barred from courtroom

VALDOSTA, Ga. -- A Muslim woman seeking to contest a simple speeding ticket in this south Georgia city says she was denied access to a municipal courtroom last week for wearing a traditional Islamic head scarf.

Aniisa Karim, 20, said she was stopped after entering Valdosta's municipal court building Tuesday and told she would not be permitted to enter the courtroom wearing her scarf.

Karim said an officer told her the denial was due to "homeland security reasons" and that allowing her to enter would show disrespect to Judge Vernita Lee Bender.