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Former stripper is elected Nev. judge Henderson, Nev. (AP)-Ex-stripper Diana Hampton will soon have something new to wear-judicial robes. Hampton was elected to the municipal court in Henderson last week, defeating Michael Miller in a run-off by 176 votes. The term is six years. Hampton, 39, had acknowledged during the campaign that she worked at a Las Vegas striptease club to help pay her way through college 14 years ago. She called it “a fact of life,” and said she hoped the interest it drew to her candidacy would eventually die down. Suit over hot seat Morgantown, W.Va. (AP)-A man who said he was severely burned when a portable toilet exploded after he sat down and lit a cigarette is suing a general contractor and a coal company, accusing them of negligence. John Jenkins, 53, and his wife, Ramona Jenkins, 35, of Brave, Pa., filed the suit two weeks ago in a county circuit court seeking $10 million from Chisler Inc. and Eastern Associated Coal Corp. Ex-Marine porn star loses firm job Atlanta-When Richard W. Merritt signed on as a staff attorney with Powell Goldstein more than a year ago, the law firm had to be impressed with his background: eight years as a Marine officer and a degree from the University of Southern California Law School. Merritt, 37, didn’t mention on his r�sum�, however, that he had just won a publishing contract for a book, Secrets of a Gay Marine Porn Star, which appeared in bookstores last week. Merritt told his supervising attorney about it in early March, he said. The Atlanta firm fired him a few days later. The human resources director told him that, because of the book, they didn’t believe he would be able to serve clients as well as Powell Goldstein standards would require. The firm’s managing partner, James McAlpin, declined comment on Merritt’s departure, citing a confidentiality agreement. McAlpin did say that the firm knew Merritt was gay when he was hired and stressed that his departure had nothing to do with his sexual orientation. Despite the sensational title, the book is a from-the-heart memoir that recounts growing up in a fundamentalist Christian home, attending straight-laced Bob Jones University, discovering a larger world in the Marines, coming out with his sexuality and recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. As for his acting career, it occupied all of four months-and eight movies-in 1995. Still, Merritt said he understands how even a short-lived career in pornography might be a deal-breaker for a big law firm. “I was hoping [Powell Goldstein] would work with me,” he said, noting that he had a stellar performance review in February. Merritt would like to continue practicing law, but in public interest or civil rights work. “I’d go back into porn before I’d go back to work for a large law firm,” he said cheerfully. - Fulton County Daily Report Drunken mowing Erie, Pa. (AP)-A man was charged with driving a stolen riding mower while drunk. Matthew Higsby, 19, of Millcreek, Pa., was charged after police saw him riding a mower down the street, according to Millcreek Township police. The mower had been taken from the home of a man who had just taken it out of his garage to lend to a friend, police said. Higsby was jailed after failing to post $5,000 bond. Police were also investigating whether Higsby was the driver of a box truck that was stolen and that rear-ended another vehicle before crashing into two houses. Police said Higsby denied driving the truck. Police were on their way to investigate that incident when they found Higsby riding down a road, they said.

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