Rules proposed on wind energy to protect birds

WASHINGTON — The Fish and Wildlife Service Tuesday proposed voluntary guidelines for onshore wind energy developers to avoid bird deaths and other harm to wildlife as part of the Obama administration's big push for renewable and clean energy.

Bird advocates who had lobbied for mandatory standards warned that the new guidelines would do nothing to stem bird deaths as wind power builds up across the country.

The department is seeking public comment for its proposed guidelines.

Teacher charged with assaulting students

A first-grade teacher at a Maryland elementary school was charged with several counts of assault Tuesday when authorities accused her of choking and, in some cases, punching half the 16 students in her class.

The incidents happened in December, in her class full of 6- and 7-year-old students, Montgomery County police said. None of the students was harmed seriously enough to require medical treatment or show visible injuries, law enforcement officials said.

It is uncommon for teachers to be charged criminally over actions in their classrooms, particularly physical encounters against multiple children.

Two ironworkers die in fall at N.Y. church

NEW YORK — Two ironworkers died Tuesday morning after they fell from a fifth floor through an open elevator shaft at a church construction site where they were installing steel, authorities said.

Brett McEnroe, 49, of Dover Plains, and Roy Powell, 51, of New Paltz, were working on a planned expansion of the Redeemer Presbyterian Church on Manhattan's Upper West Side as members of a four-person crew, authorities said.

The city's buildings commissioner, Robert LiMandri, said it appeared the workers did not have proper fall protection.