TULSA — Some schools are pulling equipment off the playground as authorities try to determine if a 9-year-old Oklahoma girl died because of something that happened while she played on a teeter-totter-like structure.
Alyssa Avila was playing with several children at a Wyandotte elementary school playground last week on equipment known as the X-Wave, which has plastic hinges and moves up and down. She died after falling off and hitting her head on the turf.
Blagojevich may need public defense funds
CHICAGO — His own legal funds spent, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich may have to make do with a discount, taxpayer-financed version of his defense at any retrial.
At a hearing today — the first since jurors deadlocked on 23 of 24 charges last week — a judge could limit how many attorneys he keeps now that his defense will be publicly funded. It could be as few as two, down from the half-dozen he had the first time around.
Empire State Building could see competition
NEW YORK — The Empire State Building's owner has lost his bid to stop a new skyscraper from rising in the neighborhood. The New York City Council approved zoning and land use changes Wednesday that pave the way for the 1,190-foot tower.
The project, called 15 Penn Plaza, is still in the planning stages. Developer Vornado Realty Trust has not set a date for its construction and has yet to sign a major commercial tenant.
But the plans for a glass office tower, which would stand higher than the Empire State Building's 86th-floor observatory, infuriated the landmark's owner, Anthony Malkin, so much that he called it an "assault on New York City and its iconography."