2nd teacher from LA school arrested on sex claim

Posted Feb. 03, 2012, at 8:28 p.m.

LOS ANGELES — A second teacher at an inner-city elementary school where a teacher is accused of committing lewd acts on 23 children was arrested Friday on suspicion of fondling two girls in his classroom.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker said Martin B. Springer, 49, of Alhambra was arrested four days after allegations surfaced against the first teacher, but there was no known connection between the two cases. Springer was being held on $2 million bail.

The expanding case has shocked the nation and thrown a chill into its second-largest school district, with 650,000 students across hundreds of campuses.

Parker said the victims in the second case were about 7 and 8 years old and were fondled once each in a classroom at Miramonte Elementary School during the past three years.

Detectives interviewed Springer and the alleged victims on Thursday and had him under surveillance. He was arrested Friday as he exited a school district building in South Los Angeles, Parker said.

Wrong-number call helps Ohio woman having stroke

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio — A woman who called the wrong number when she suffered a stroke still found help a couple of time zones away.

Loretta Smith of Cuyahoga Falls near Akron felt her right side go numb and fell to the floor at her home last weekend.

The 70-year-old Smith said she was able to grab the phone with her left hand and thought she was calling her son. Instead, she was one digit off and reached a man in the Denver area who was originally from northeast Ohio and had kept the same number after he moved.

“It was a woman, and she said ‘I may be having a stroke,”’ said Kenny Crater, 28, a sculpture major at Metropolitan State University in Denver.

Crater asked for her name and address and offered to get help. His 911 call was answered by Broomfield, Colo., police, who transferred his call to Cuyahoga Falls.

Smith was taken to Summa Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls, where it was determined that she had suffered a mini-stroke, said Dr. Joseph Nienaltowski.

Smith said Crater saved her life. “I want this kid to be praised to high heaven,” she said.

“I do not feel like I have done anything special,” Crater said. “I didn’t save her. She found me.”

East European Death Toll Climbs to 250

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Eastern Europe’s death toll has climbed to about 250 as the region grapples with a Siberian freeze, heavy snowfall and gale-force winds that disrupted traffic, boosted energy use to record levels and sealed off towns.

The cold killed 101 people in Ukraine, where 1,248 people were hospitalized with frostbite, the Emergency Ministry said Friday. In Russia, at least 60 have frozen to death in 50 provinces this month, the Health Ministry said, while Polish police reported eight cold-related deaths Thursday, bringing the toll to 43 since Jan. 24.

The region has been battling with temperatures as low as minus 58 Fahrenheit in parts of Kazakhstan, the lowest on record, and minus 30 degrees in the Russian city of Smolensk, 244 miles west of Moscow. In Serbia, 16 towns have declared emergencies after being under snow since Jan. 10, said Goran Nikolic, head of the emergency situations division at the Interior Ministry.

“It’s difficult or even impossible to ship food and medical supplies to households in remote mountainous villages,” Nikolic said in a phone interview.

The coldest weather in 75 years in Azerbaijan closed roads and interrupted the operation of the main airport in the capital, Baku. Forecasts show the cold snap persisting for days.

Snow closed four national roads in Romania, where 24 people have lost their lives because of the cold so far. The country issued a warning for blizzards and snowfall until Feb. 5. About 370 schools were closed Friday in 29 counties across the country, the Education Ministry said.

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