VFW post is first started by women

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (AP) — A fledgling VFW post outside Buffalo is ready to help veterans with whatever they need — health care, employment, education.

But unlike every other post in the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization, this one was started by women.

The Dorothy Kubik/Katherine Galloway Post 12097 was Marlene Roll's idea. Erie County's Veterans Service Agency director has been in the VFW for 20 years, since Desert Storm. But the former Army Reserves sergeant knew there were reasons more women weren't joining.

Roll and post commander Renee DeRouche say women warriors juggling jobs and kids want a more family-oriented atmosphere and are more comfortable talking about female issues with other women — though men are welcome to join.

Its leaders say it's only a matter of time before more posts like theirs open.

Officer, suspect dead after shooting

MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (AP) — Police say an officer and a suspect have died following a shooting in a suburb east of New York City.

Nassau County Police Officer Maureen Roach says the officer died at Nassau University Medical Center on Saturday night.

Police Detective Lt. Kevin Smith tells Newsday the officer was shot while responding to a report of a suspicious person with a weapon in Massapequa, nearly 40 miles east of Manhattan.

Smith says the suspect who died is being identified only as a 27-year-old man. Smith didn't immediately return a telephone call to The Associated Press seeking comment Saturday.

It's the second line-of-duty death of a Nassau County officer so far this year.

Highway patrolman Michael Califano was killed Feb. 5 when a truck slammed into his police cruiser in Old Westbury, N.Y.

1 killed, 1 assaulted in robbery attempt

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Police say a woman employee at an upscale athletic apparel store in Bethesda has been killed and another woman worker was sexually assaulted after they were attacked during a robbery attempt.

Police said Saturday the woman who survived is talking to detectives. Montgomery County police spokesman Capt. Paul Starks says two masked men in gloves entered the Lululemon Athletica shop Friday night about the time it was closing.

The women were found Saturday morning before the store opened.

Police cordoned off the shop, which sells athletic clothing and yoga apparel, with yellow tape and placed brown paper in the windows to block the view.

The store is in a busy shopping district in a suburban Washington neighborhood.

Critics call for halt to computer project

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Critics of a costly new computer system planned for the California courts are calling for a halt to the project.

State Auditor Elaine Howle concluded in a report last month that court officials have mismanaged the project , which is meant to digitally connect every courthouse in the state. The project was initially estimated to cost $260 million and should be completed by now.

Instead, the computer system is deployed in only seven of California's 58 counties. The audit pegs cost of the completed project at $1.9 billion.

State legislators have taken notice and are discussing more oversight of the court's spending. Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has also refused to heed calls from Assembly members to fire the head of the Adminsitrative Office of the Courts, which oversees the project.

Golf course shooting leaves 1 man dead

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (NYT) — Sitting in a cart just to the side of Deerfield Country Club's 17th tee, the two golfers were still savoring their pars on the previous hole when they were confronted by two men wearing ski masks and flashing .38-caliber revolvers.

The gunmen ordered the golfers to the ground and demanded their money. One of the masked men then tussled with one of the golfers, Lataurus Randall, shooting him once in the back before both robbers fled, empty-handed, into a nearby stand of Australian pines bordering a low-income neighborhood.

Randall, a 35-year-old owner of a landscaping company who had a 9-year-old son, died in the hospital the next day. His golf partner and cousin, Melvin Philpart, who was unhurt, said he wished he had done more to help. But he said he was startled to see two masked men with guns on the golf course he has played most of his life.

"When these guys showed up, I first thought it was a joke," said Philpart, 43, who does auto detailing in nearby Boynton Beach. "I said to one of them, 'What do you think you're doing out here? This is a golf course.'"

South Florida has seen its share of armed robberies in surprising places, including a Fort Lauderdale church where parishioners were robbed at gunpoint during Sunday services a few years ago. But two months after the Deerfield Country Club murder, no one has been arrested and residents are still shocked by the crime.

It has also shaken the culture of the state's many golf courses, which market themselves as refuges from the stresses of life, if not the vagaries of golf swings.