Court refuses to block removal of feeding tube

TAMPA, Fla. - A state appeals court Wednesday refused to block the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube later this week, shifting the focus in the right-to-die dispute to the Legislature.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland turned down a request by Bob and Mary Schindler for a delay while they pursue further appeals, and for a new trial on their daughter's fate.

The tube is scheduled to be removed on Friday at 1 p.m.

Prosecutors want to show jurors scene of bombing

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Prosecutors have asked for permission to take jurors on a bus ride during Eric Rudolph's trial and show them the abortion clinic he is accused of bombing in 1998.

The defense again has asked a judge to throw out the indictment against Rudolph, arguing the jury selection procedures violate his constitutional rights.

The requests came in a flurry of motions made public Wednesday ahead of the start of preliminary jury selection April 6. Testimony in his federal death penalty trial is not expected to begin until weeks later.

Documents for waste project could be falsified

WASHINGTON - Government employees may have falsified documents related to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project in Nevada, the Energy Department said Wednesday. The disclosure could jeopardize the project's ability to get a federal permit to operate the dump.

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said the department is investigating into what kind of information was falsified and whether it would affect the scientific underpinnings of the project.

Person of interest in missing girl case last seen in Georgia

HOMOSASSA, Fla. - Detectives investigating last month's disappearance of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford want to question a registered sex offender who once attacked a girl in her bedroom and left this area without telling authorities.

John ''Johnny'' Evander Couey, 46, became a ''person of interest'' in the case after investigators sought to contact every registered sex offender who lived near Jessica's home. They discovered that he was no longer living at his home when they tried to contact him Feb. 28, five days after Jessica disappeared, and that he hadn't notified authorities as required by law.

Couey's home is about two miles from Jessica's but he also sometimes stayed with relatives who live within ''eyeshot'' of her house, Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said.

Killen to undergo surgery; trial could be pushed back

JACKSON, Miss. - Reputed Klansman Edgar Ray Killen may face additional surgery after breaking his legs in a wood-cutting accident, raising doubts whether he can go to trial next month in the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers.

Jerry Killen said Wednesday that doctors likely will have to drain fluid from one of his brother's hips. Last week, doctors at the Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson used steel pins to repair Killen's broken bones.

The 80-year-old Killen was indicted last month by a state grand jury on three counts of murder, accused of orchestrating the killings of James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman. A 1967 federal trial revealed that the killings were part of a Ku Klux Klan conspiracy. Killen has denied taking part in the murders.

He had been scheduled to go on trial April 18.

Investigator says accuser described only two incidents

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The lead investigator in the Michael Jackson child molestation case testified Wednesday that the accuser told him he was molested five to seven times but could describe only two of the incidents in detail.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon asked sheriff's Sgt. Steve Robel about the numbers in order to account for differences that have emerged during testimony in Jackson's trial.

Robel testified Tuesday that the boy twice told investigators he was molested five times. The boy himself testified earlier to only two molestations but said he believed there may have been more.

- From wire reports