Money Matters - Simplified


Hazards of coal ash investigated

Durham, N.C. -- As the U.S. government considers defining coal ash as a hazardous waste material, researchers say they've developed new ways of measuring its ecological impact.

Researchers from Duke University studied contaminant levels in aquatic ecosystems over an 18-month period following a massive coal sludge spill in 2008 at a Tennessee Valley Authority power plant in Kingston, Tenn., a university release said.

The Duke scientists found that high concentrations of arsenic from the TVA coal ash remained in river-bottom sediment long after contaminant levels in surface waters had dropped back below safe thresholds.

Cop allegedly had sex on duty

Everett, Wash. -- A Washington state sheriff's office said a sergeant is on paid administrative leave while allegations of having sex in his patrol car are investigated.

The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said the 45-year-old sergeant, a 20-year veteran, was on duty Sept. 19 when dispatchers reported hearing a 10-second radio transmission of a woman moaning, The Seattle Times reported Monday.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said an internal investigation is under way into allegations the sergeant "engaged in an inappropriate romantic relationship while on duty."

Hover said the investigation is into alleged misconduct, not a criminal probe. She said the investigation is expected to be completed in two to three weeks.

Buffalo found in swimming pool

Cleveland, Ga. -- A Georgia man said he and his wife investigated a pair of large holes in their swimming pool cover and were surprised to find a buffalo in the empty pool.

Chris Nonnemaker of White County said rescuers threw carpet into the pool Saturday morning to help the animal with traction and it was lassoed and removed, WSB-TV, Atlanta, reported Monday.

The White County Sheriff's Office said the buffalo was one of three escapees from a neighbor's farm a few weeks ago. The other two buffalo were previously recaptured.

The owners of the buffalo in the pool said they euthanized the animal.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

MJ's doctors cleared in his death

Los Angeles -- The California state attorney general's office said seven doctors and a nurse investigated will not be charged in the death of pop music icon Michael Jackson.

Jackson died June 25, 2009, in Los Angeles at age 50. Officials determined the cause of his death to be lethal amounts of the anesthesia propofol and sedatives.

His personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, is awaiting trial on a charge of involuntary manslaughter for allegedly administering the drugs that killed Jackson. However, authorities have said other doctors are believed to have provided Jackson with drugs to feed his alleged prescription addiction.

Women's basketball program investigated

Indianapolis -- A committee has been named to investigate complaints that women's basketball coach at an Indiana University branch emotionally abused players.

Charles Bantz, chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, announced the investigation Tuesday, the Indianapolis Star reported. Sue Shields, a retired federal magistrate, is to head the investigation, backed up by the dean of the University of Indiana School of Law-Indianapolis and IUPUI's associate athletic director.

The newspaper reported complaints from 11 former players that the head coach, Shann Hart, berated them and inappropriately questioned their personal lives. One said Hart inquired about her sexual orientation.

Nicollette Sheridan sues 'Housewives' creator for assault, wrongful termination

Former 'Desperate Housewives' co-star Nicollette Sheridan is suing the creator of the show, saying he hit her in the face on the set. Sheridan has filed a lawsuit against 'Housewives' creator Marc Cherry on charges of assault and battery, according to tabloid reports.