USA

Delegates to a special Episcopal convention of California's divided, Central Valley diocese elected a bishop loyal to the US Epis-copal Church to replace the deposed leader of the 47-church diocese. In December, the diocese voted to leave the Episcopal church when the body named its first openly gay bishop, but new diocesan leader, Bishop Jerry Lamb, (above), immediately called for a dialogue about including homosexuals in local congregations.

ICF International of Fairfax, Va., a private contractor involved in distributing grants to homeowners seeking to rebuild after hurricane Katrina, wants to hire a separate company to collect millions in grant overpayments, according to the Associated Press. The company, which is under investigation for the compensation it received, estimates it may have overpaid a total of $175 million in federal funds.

Former Gov. Don Siegelman (D) of Alabama was released from a federal prison in Oakdale, La., late last week after serving nine months of a seven-year sentence on corruption charges. An appellate court ordered him released while his conviction is being contested.

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Hundreds of people marched in Milwaukee Saturday to protest alleged police brutality against a Hmong man stopped in February and charged with drunken driving and resisting an officer. A police investigation of the incident cleared the officer.

The Humane Society has filed a motion in US District Court in Portland, Ore., asking for a permanent injunction against efforts to capture and possibly euthanize sea lions that feast on Columbia River salmon. In January, the National Marine Fisheries Service authorized taking up to 85 sea lions a year from near the Bonneville Dam, 140 miles inland.

New York City park officials and Going Coastal, a nonprofit group, have unveiled a network of 28 boat ramps designed to offer canoeists and kayakers greater public access to the city's waterways. Many of the ramps aren't new, but some have been off limits to urban water recreationists.

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