By Mary Papenfuss SANTA CRUZ Calif. (Reuters) - An accused prostitute charged with killing a Google executive by injecting him with a fatal dose of heroin on his yacht off the California coast pleaded not guilty on Wednesday and her attorney said she has been unfairly demonized in the case. A grim-faced Alix Catherine Tichelman, 26, entered not guilty pleas to eight criminal counts including manslaughter, prostitution and heroin possession during a brief hearing in Santa Cruz Superior Court and was ordered back to court on Oct. 20. Wearing red jail garb, her reddish-brown hair falling over her face, she spoke only in response to questions from Judge Timothy Volkmann as her parents sat quietly in the front row of the courtroom. Prosecutors say Tichelman, a high-priced call girl, injected 51-year-old Forrest Hayes with the drug during a tryst aboard his yacht off Santa Cruz in November, then made no effort to help him after he fell unconscious - instead stepping over the technology executive's body to finish her glass of wine.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is coming to one of the nation's largest petroleum-producing areas to hold public hearings on a proposal aimed at reducing toxic air pollution from California to Texas through tough new controls on oil refineries.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A casino boat ran aground on rocks off the coast of Georgia overnight and remained stranded hours after daybreak Wednesday, with Coast Guard crews awaiting high tide to attempt to remove the 123 people aboard.
"Technology has certainly blunted that," said professor Joseph Foudy of the New York University Stern School of Business. "The strike is not as effective a weapon as it once might have been," Foudy said ahead of a threatened strike by unionized workers on the Long Island Rail Road that could effectively shut down nation's largest commuter railway at 12:01 a.m. Sunday. Large and mid-sized companies with offices in Manhattan - where many of the 300,000 daily LIRR riders work - agreed. If the strike by 5,400 unionized LIRR workers takes place, thousands of commuters will be inconvenienced or worse, especially those in jobs that do not allow for telecommuting.