In the Nation

Natalee Holloway, an Alabama teen who vanished in Aruba more than six years ago, was declared dead Thursday.
Natalee Holloway, an Alabama teen who vanished in Aruba more than six years ago, was declared dead Thursday.
Posted: January 13, 2012

Natalee Holloway is declared dead

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The parents looked on somberly as a judge on Thursday declared Natalee Holloway dead, more than six years after the American teenager vanished during a high school graduation trip to the Caribbean island of Aruba.

"We've been dealing with her death for the last 61/2 years," Dave Holloway, who requested the declaration, said after a brief hearing. "We've still got a long way to go to get justice.

Holloway, 18, disappeared May 30, 2005. She was last seen leaving a bar early that morning with a Dutchman, Joran van der Sloot. Her body was never found.

Van der Sloot, a suspect in Holloway's death, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Peru to the 2010 murder of a woman he met at a casino in Lima.

- AP

Judge: Move on Everglades case

MIAMI - A federal judge on Thursday urged federal and state environmental officials to take steps toward reducing pollution in the Florida Everglades and move away from the endless court battles that have stalled progress for more than two decades.

U.S. District Judge Alan Gold pressed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Florida to work out the differences in competing Everglades restoration plans and come up with a guaranteed way to pay for the costly work.

"Elsewise, what we're doing is going around in circles, again, trying to fine-tune something without the ability to implement it," Gold said.

The hearing was the latest in a lawsuit originally by the Miccosukee Indian tribe, whose reservation is in the Everglades, claiming state and federal agencies failed to enforce Clean Water Act standards in the vast wetlands.

- AP

Police in Detroit to close up early

DETROIT - Fighting crime is a 24-hour job, but Detroit police stations will be sticking to business hours.

The department plans to close precincts and district headquarters to the public after 4 p.m. It's an effort to put more officers on patrol without adding to the city's $200 million budget deficit.

The policy took effect this week in a tough area on the East Side, and six other stations will join the program over the next month.

Officers will still be inside the building around the clock, but public access at night will be limited to a phone in the foyer linked to a 24-hour crime-reporting unit. - AP

Elsewhere:

Memphis officials approved naming a city street after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., nearly 44 years after the civil rights leader was killed in the city. The naming of a prominent street in the tourist district is seen as a symbol that the city is finally taking steps to heal the wounds caused by the assassination. A ceremony is planned for April 4.

Twelve members of a breakaway Amish group in Bergholz, Ohio, pleaded not guilty to beard- and haircutting attacks on fellow Amish in a feud over church discipline. A judge refused a defense appeal to release on bond suspected ringleader Samuel Mullet Sr. and his son, Johnny.

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