NATION IN BRIEF: Serial stabbing suspect charged in Ohio attack

Serial stabbing suspect charged in Ohio attack

TOLEDO, Ohio — A man suspected in a string of stabbings across three states was charged with attempted murder Friday in the stabbing a church custodian in Ohio over the summer.

A grand jury indicted Elias Abuelazam and also charged him with felonious assault in the stabbing of Tony Leno, who was standing outside a church when a man asked for directions and then began stabbing him.

Leno survived the attack, and Abuelazam was arrested a few days later while trying to board a plane to Israel, his native country.

Defense attorney Brian Morley said he was unaware of the charges in Ohio and could not immediately comment on them.

Abuelazam also faces one murder charge and five attempted murder charges in Michigan.

NJ governor pulls back on halt to tunnel project

TRENTON, N.J. — Gov. Chris Christie pulled back Friday on plans to cancel a nearly $9 billion rail tunnel linking New Jersey and Manhattan, agreeing after meeting with the U.S. transportation secretary to listen to other options for one of the nation’s largest public works projects.

Secretary Ray LaHood met with Christie for nearly an hour at the New Jersey Statehouse a day after the governor decided to scrap the project dubbed Access to the Region’s Core, or ARC, a move he said was aimed to protect the long-range financial interests of state taxpayers.

‘‘Gov. Christie and I had a good discussion this afternoon, during which I presented a number of options for continuing the ARC tunnel project,’’ LaHood said. ‘‘We agreed to put together a small working group from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the office of New Jersey Transit Executive Director Jim Weinstein that will review these options.’’

Two workers rescued at Fla. water tower

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Two maintenance workers who were injured while working on a water tower in South Florida have been rescued.

Hollywood city officials said the workers were sandblasting the inside of the Hollywood Water Tower Friday morning when the scaffolding somehow came loose. The men fell about 45 feet to the bottom of the empty water tower basin and were seriously injured.

One man reportedly broke his leg but managed to grab his cell phone to call a supervisor. The supervisor then called 911. The other man who fell was reportedly knocked unconscious but later woke up. He was the first person lowered to safety.

Police: Pa. cook stabs co-worker as customers eat

READING, Pa. — Authorities say one cook stabbed another in the kitchen of an eastern Pennsylvania restaurant while customers ate in the dining room, and they were allowed to finish their meals while police collected evidence.

Police said 34-year-old Alfredo Payez-Palma stabbed his co-worker Roman Avila-Sanchez Friday morning at O’Grady’s Family Restaurant in Muhlenberg Township.

Patrons said they heard a commotion coming from the kitchen but didn’t see the stabbing. They say the owner told them their meals were on the house.

Dow closes above 11,000, 1st time since May

NEW YORK — The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 11,000 for the first time in five months Friday as hopes built that the Federal Reserve will take more action to get the economy going again.

A weaker jobs report added to a series of tepid economic indicators in recent weeks that have built expectations that the Fed will announce new steps to encourage borrowing when it meets in early November.

3 of 4 plead guilty to abusing teen in Calif. home

SAN FRANCISCO — Three of the four defendants accused of holding captive and abusing a 16-year-old boy in a Central California home for more than a year pleaded guilty Friday in a deal that will send them each to prison for 30 or more years.

Michael Schumacher, his wife Kelly Layne Lau and the victim’s then-legal guardian Caren Ramirez entered their pleas in San Joaquin County Superior Court to multiple felonies, including torture and corporal injury to a child.

Anthony Waiters, the couple’s neighbor and the fourth defendant, has pleaded not guilty. Jury selection for his trial on aggravated mayhem, torture and false imprisonment charges is set to begin next week.