Okla. house fire kills 5, injures 1
OKLAHOMA CITY - A fire that ripped through a home in Oklahoma City before dawn Wednesday killed a woman and her four children and left one man in critical condition with serious burns, authorities said.
Firefighters found the bodies of Jeanine Bonnet, 28, and her children inside the two-story, wood-frame home, Fire Department Maj. Tammy McKinney said.
They found Brian Poletto, 39, outside the burning house while a man who rented a room at the home, David Ruppert, managed to escape the flames. Poletto was in critical condition at a local hospital later Wednesday with second- and third-degree burns to his back and arms, McKinney said.
"When we got on scene, we had reports that there were children inside," McKinney said. "The fire was so intense that we could not make entry and had to knock the fire down before we could make entry. That's when we found the bodies." Police Sgt. Gary Knight identified the children as Kara Leon, 3; Matthew Zackary Leon, 5; Samantha Leon, 7; and Natalie Leon, 8.
Justice upholds health-care rule
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday denied a request to block part of the federal health-care law that requires employee health-care plans to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after pill and similar emergency contraception pills.
Hobby Lobby Stores and a sister company, Mardel Inc., sued the government, claiming the mandate violates the religious beliefs of its owners.
In an opinion, Sotomayor said the stores fail to satisfy the demanding legal standard for blocking the requirement on an emergency basis. She said the companies may continue their challenge to the regulations in the lower courts.
Company officials said they must decide whether to violate their faith or face a daily $1.3 million fine beginning Jan. 1 if they ignore the law.
Shop warned over candy cigs
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Owners of an old-school soda shop were warned to stop stocking novelty candy cigarettes. City inspectors threatened a misdemeanor citation and $500 fine if Lynden's soda fountain is caught selling the fake smokes again.
The Star Tribune reported Wednesday that the offering violated an ordinance barring the sale of candy smokes and cartoon character lighters. Shop owner Tobi Lynden said the white candy sticks with the red tips were her best-selling candy item but she pulled them to avoid running afoul of the ordinance.
A city spokesman said the warning came after inspectors received and looked into a complaint about the presence of the tobacco-themed products.