Black children in St. Louis face bias in county family court, which has a pattern of trampling due-process rights in delinquency proceedings, a federal report released Friday says. 


     California sheriff's deputies accused of running "dirty DUI" stings did not violate a drunk driver's Fourth Amendment rights, a federal judge ruled. 

     The Richmond City Council on Tuesday had to delay a vote on an ordinance that would make the Bay Area burg the first California city in 30 years to institute rent control.

     Like most people who are not wholly vile, I have standards - some in common with humanity, some peculiarly my own. And I hew to those standards (hew to meaning abide by, not to chop up with an ax).
     At what point does sticking to one's standards become mere pigheadedness?
     I wondered this week - on company time - upon stumbling across the word "blarophant" while editing a story.
     The word does not exist. So should I allow it in a story?
     The Salt Lake Tribune used it in its Aug. 30, 1877 obituary of Brigham Young. The Trib did not care for the fellow. A rather mild sentence from the obit states: "He was blarophant, and pretended to be in daily intercourse with the Almighty, and yet he was groveling in his ideas, and the system of religion he formulated was well nigh Satanic."
     Good heavens. The rest of the obituary was no kinder. You can read it by Googling blarophant. The Tribune editor was the only person who ever used it, and he did it just once.
     I looked it up in the Oxford English Dictionary and in Webster's Second Edition. Nothing.
     The suffix -phant comes from Greek phainein, meaning to manifest or show, but the prefix blaro- means nothing in Latin or Greek, nor does blar- or bla-. So the word is meaningless, though the Trib editor surely meant something bad.
     With dictionaries strewn across the floor, I realized that no one but me would care what it meant, or whether it means anything at all. I left it in the story even though it's not a word because, what the heck, I'd looked it up ...
     There are words, however, that I will not allow, even though everyone else is using them. One of these words is "reference" used as a verb.
     Reference is not a verb. It is a noun or an adjective. The verb form is "refer."
     Webster agrees with me on this. The Oxford English Dictionary ... actually, the O.E.D. allows it. So the O.E.D. is wrong.
     I know, I know. I'm not going to fight the people at Oxford. So I'm wrong, but I still won't allow it.
     Here we come to the point, if I have a point. Am I being pigheaded, barring a word that's used correctly, merely because I think it's ugly?
     Maybe I am, but vide supra. Also, op cit. and viz.
     Languages change, and even etymologists and editors have to admit it. Dr. Johnson, for instance, admitted "fun" to his dictionary only grudgingly, but did not approve it, because he considered it a "low" word.
     He was scandalized by the word "leg" if it referred to a woman, and though he had to admit it to his dictionary - please, not in that way. He preferred "limbs," and that dictum remained in force until the end of the Victorian Age.
     Clearly, if Dr. Johnson were alive today, it would be ridiculous to hew to those standards. And I doubt that he would.
     (Actually, he wouldn't have to, because if Dr. Johnson got a look at a modern magazine, I believe he would die instanter. ("'Webster's Second Edition' ... 'Adj: immediately',".))
     I suppose I have to admit that in this case, and no doubt in others, what I call my high standards merely make me pigheaded. (Stubborn, unmoved, adamant, tenacious.)
     Ah, well, it's a question for an etymologist. Which Dr. Johnson defined as "a writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge."

     The man accused of murdering nine black church members in Charleston last month pleaded not guilty to a litany of federal hate crime charges Friday morning.

     "Don't kill him!" a homeless woman screamed in court Thursday as prosecutors sought the death penalty for mass murderer James Holmes. "Mental illness is everything!" she cried as officers hustled her out of the courtroom.


     The federal government improperly exempted the country's largest national forest, the 17 million acre Tongass, from Clinton-era roadless rules, the Ninth Circuit ruled. 

     At least three people were arrested outside a Ferguson town hall meeting Thursday night as the city nears the first anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown.

     An article in the July 28, 2015, edition of this page under the headline "Convicted Art Fraudster Claims Paintings Might Be Fakes," which reported on a hearing in presentencing phase of a criminal wire-fraud case against Luke Brugnara, contained incorrect information about the ownership of certain paintings. Contrary to what was reported in the article, New York art dealer Walter Maibaum and his company, Modernism Fine Arts Inc., do not own the 16 paintings by Willem de Kooning that authorities confiscated from Brugnara's home. Courthouse News has corrected the article in its database and deeply regrets the error.

     Harassment from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police drove a prominent member of the force to suicide, and the Mounties wouldn't let his widow give a eulogy at his funeral, she claims in court. 

     With their drought-ravaged state in its hottest summer on record, Californians exceeded a water-conservation benchmark, regulators said Thursday.

     A federal judge dismissed a $5 billion complaint against Chevron for an oil rig fire in Nigeria, finding the plaintiffs were "not cooperating with their own counsel." 

     The wife of a man accused of running a $1.5 billion Ponzi scam must give up $2.4 million in ill-gotten gains, a federal judge ruled. 

     Leading U.S. electronics manufacturer Vizio inflates LCD sales figures by lying about its how quickly its screens refresh images, a class of consumers claim in court. 

     Claims that Uber stole its business technology must be adjudicated in state court, a federal judge ruled. 

     A former counselor at a North Carolina co-ed summer camp for children claims in court that she after she was raped by a co-worker, the program sought to cover the matter up, and when she resisted these efforts, it fired her. 


     The World Chess Museum in St. Louis checkmated Las Vegas-based World Chess Federation by default in a trademark dispute. 

     A federal judge blocked an attempt at forum shopping Thursday in the fight over Tom Brady's National Football League suspension. 

     Oracle Racing scuttled a professional sailor's reputation by making him the patsy after a crewmate broke the rules of a regatta ahead of the 34th America's Cup, the sailor claims in Federal Court. 

     Massage Envy enabled a worker to assault clients by issuing only a one-week suspension amid reports of his abuses, a woman claims in court.


     A Texas auto shop owner swung a machete at a client's head when he demanded return of his Camry found at an impound lot with its interior gutted, the client claims in court. 


     Two chimpanzees kept in a laboratory at the state university in Stony Brook, N.Y., do not have the same legal rights as humans and will therefore remain at the facility, a Manhattan Supreme Court judge ruled. 

     Stock photo agency Minden Pictures Inc. has standing to sue a textbook publisher for allegedly printing hundreds of thousands of unauthorized copies of photos, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Friday. 

     Ferguson, Mo., police who charged a man with destroying police property for bleeding on their uniforms after beating him must face civil claims, the Eighth Circuit ruled. 

     Two rare-coin dealers facing lengthy prison terms for conspiracy won relief from the Second Circuit on orders to pay $41 million in restitution and forfeiture. 

     A Defense Department contractor accused of stiffing its attorneys at Venable does not have a fraud case against the firm, a federal judge ruled. 

     An animal rights group frustrated in its efforts to protect two rare tortoise species, cannot sue the federal government for responding to its queries "with the alacrity of a proverbial tortoise," a federal judge ruled. 

     A former professional wrestler's lawsuit claiming World Wrestling Entertainment profited while putting his and others health at risk, will be moved to Connecticut, a magistrate judge ruled. 

     Pre-Paid Legal Services dba LegalShield can arbitrate a class claim accusing it of charging Californians without consent or disclosure, a federal judge ruled Thursday. 

     A federal judge for the third time on Thursday refused to certify a class that claims Del Monte Foods intentionally mislabeled its foods, and dismissed the case. 

     A federal judge granted summary judgment Thursday to the U.S. Forest Service in an environmental claim challenging a 250-acre commercial thinning project of pines dead or dying of beetle infestations in Gallatin National Forest. 

     EU regulators on Friday opened an investigation into whether FedEx's proposed takeover of Netherlands-based TNT Express would leave too few competitors - just UPS and DHL - in the international package-shipping market.

     The Ninth Circuit refused Thursday to revive claims that federal rules against foreign competition in the domestic shipping market impaired Hawaii's interstate trade. 

     A girl who was sexually abused by her high school dance coach waited too long to sue the female coach, a federal judge ruled, dismissing the case but suggesting she take it to state court. 

     Pfizer is on the hook for $1.4 million in damages and legal fees in an employment discrimination case in Oregon, a federal magistrate ruled. 


     Katy Perry can enter into a bidding war to rent a convent at the center of her dispute with two nuns, a state court judge said Thursday.

     A state court judge has temporarily blocked an anti-abortion group from releasing secret videos of leaders of a company that provides fetal tissue to researchers.

     A federal judge in Alaska on Thursday fined Greenpeace $2,500 for every hour protesters block a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker from leaving a dock in Portland to head for the Arctic. 

     Four bone-dry years in a row in California have so far cost the state a "rain debt" equal to a year's worth of rain, according to a NASA study released Thursday.


     Two men caught on surveillance video leaving Confederate flags on two prominent black landmarks Thursday morning could face criminal charges, Atlanta police said.

     Accessing patient records will aid Wisconsin's investigation into narcotics prescribed to veterans at deadly rates, the state told a federal judge. 

     The Federal Bureau of Prisons will recognize humanism as a religion and allow inmates to "worship" accordingly under the terms of a settlement filed in an Oregon federal court. 


     Weatherford International must go to trial to dispute claims its supervisor-dominate culture let a boss humiliate workers by sticking his finger in their butts, a federal judge ruled. 

     A federal immigration agency and local police agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by residents of an apartment complex that was allegedly raided without legal justification.

     The labor class action against PAE Group and Arch Resources Group belongs in California state court, the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday. 

     The Republican Party of Virginia sent campaign mailers that included a copyrighted photograph of a Democratic politician, a reporter claims in federal court.