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Montana clears way for doctor- assisted suicide

HELENA, Mont. —The Montana Supreme Court said Thursday that nothing in state law prevents patients from seeking physician-assisted suicide, making Montana the third state that will allow the procedure.

Patients and doctors had been waiting for the state's high court to step in after a lower court decided a year ago that constitutional rights to privacy and dignity protect the right to die.

The Montana Supreme Court opinion will now give doctors in the state the freedom to prescribe the necessary drugs to mentally competent, terminally ill patients without fear of being prosecuted, advocates said.

Fla. deputy fired for belonging to KKK

GAINESVILLE, Fla. —An Alachua County Sheriff's Office corrections officer who acknowledged being a member of the Ku Klux Klan has been fired for belonging to a subversive or terrorist organization, a violation of the agency's code of ethics.

Wayne Kerschner was fired Tuesday following a 10-month internal investigation.

The investigation revealed that Kerschner applied online for membership to the United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan a year ago, paid $30 a month for access to a members-only Klan Web site and that the group did a thorough background check that included his credit history before allowing him to join.

The Klan has "extremely high standards," Kerschner told investigators, according to an administrative investigation report released Thursday. "They do a complete criminal background check on everybody."

During the internal probe, Kerschner told investigators that he never let his membership interfere with his job. He said he viewed the Klan as a religious or political organization.

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