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News In Brief - September 16, 2007

Interagency Coalition to meet Monday

The York County Interagency Coalition will meet at noon Monday at Jackson's Cafeteria, 1735 Heckle Blvd., Rock Hill.

Cotton Howell, director of the York County Office of Emergency Management, will be the speaker and share information in recognition of Emergency Preparedness Month. For details, call Debbie Hayworth at 324-2735.

Fort Mill council to hold budget workshop

FORT MILL -- The Fort Mill Town Council will have a budget workshop at 7 p.m. Monday at Town Hall.

The council gave initial approval to the budget last week, but one more vote is required for it to become official.

The proposed budget does not call for a tax increase, but it does include an increase in garbage fees.

No action is expected at the workshop, Town Manager David Hudspeth said.

Teen, missing newborn found near S.C. truck stop

DETROIT -- A teenager and the infant she is suspected of kidnapping were found at a hotel near a South Carolina truck stop.

Maquesta Nelson, 16, and the infant, Israel Bell, were located Saturday in Duncan, about 80 miles southwest of Charlotte and more than 500 miles from Detroit. They had been missing since Thursday.

The 11-day-old girl was unharmed but taken to a hospital for observation, Detroit police spokesman James Tate said Saturday.

Nelson, of Dallas, is expected to be returned to Detroit for unspecified charges, which could include kidnapping.

"We don't know what we have," Tate said. "There are a lot of things we have to filter out."

The infant's mother and aunt had recently met Nelson and allowed her into the family's east side home, Tate said.

The mother left Israel in the care of the infant's aunt while she was hospitalized this week for complications from the birth. The aunt told police she fell asleep Thursday morning only to wake up and find Israel and Nelson gone.

An Amber Alert was issued Friday.

Nelson had been using the alias "Jasmine" while in Detroit.

She is believed to have been driven to South Carolina.

Jury awards family $600K in Denny's lawsuit

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. -- A federal jury has ordered the Denny's restaurant chain to pay $600,000 in damages to 15 members of a black family who claimed their white waiter deliberately ignored them and used racial slurs.

The jury awarded each family member $5,000 in compensatory damages and $35,000 in punitive damages on Friday.

Sandra Green's family sued over a November 2003 meal at a Denny's restaurant in the St. Louis suburb of Fairview Heights. The waiter, who later was fired, allegedly served white patrons while ignoring the family. Some of Green's family members said they had to get their own drinks, utensils and napkins.

Family member Charles Tart Sr. described the experience as "pretty horrible."

Ed Ordonez, attorney for Spartanburg-based Denny's, told jurors that the Green family had received bad service but ultimately wasn't harmed.

He said the company will decide whether to appeal.

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