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Like a championship boxer or a celebrity at a movie premiere, Frank Quattrone was swarmed by photographers who wanted to capture the look of a man who had just won his life back. “Give us that winning smile,” one of them shouted as the millionaire in a gray suit happily obliged. “You betcha!” Quattrone said. Moments earlier, U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels had approved a deal with the government that calls for the dismissal of obstruction-of-justice charges against Quattrone if he stays out of trouble for one year. He also can work in finance again. “I plan to resume my business career,” the 50-year-old Quattrone said. The hearing itself lasted a few minutes and Quattrone seemed eager to celebrate the moment. “How did I do?” Quattrone asked his lawyer, Theodore B. Wells Jr., on an elevator after he left court. “You did great,” Wells told him. Timothy J. Coleman, a white-collar crime expert at Dewey Ballantine in New York, said Quattrone had reason to be so happy, having received the same punishment as someone who smuggled a few Cuban cigars into the United States. “If he holds up his end of the deal, it will be as if the case never happened,” he said.- Associated Press Ghost story Things don’t just go bump in the night in the Navarro County, Texas, Courthouse. They also ride the elevator and catch up on their typing. Criminal District Attorney Steve Keathley remembers a night in the mid-1990s when he was working late in the law library. He heard a tap-tap-tapping noise that sounded like someone typing on a manual typewriter in the office next door. Curious about who could be typing at that time of night, Keathley looked through the glass on the office door. “When I looked through that window and nobody was there,” he said, “the hair stood up on the back of my neck.” Other courthouse workers have heard groups of people milling about, doors slamming or footsteps on the stairs. James E. Lagomarsino, an assistant prosecutor, often hears the elevator when he’s working after hours. According to local lore, the building is haunted by the ghost of a justice of the peace who was shot in the basement of the building and later died of his wound. Naturally, there are skeptics. “I would be more inclined to think the ghost was a big rat,” said one old courthouse hand, District Judge John Jackson. Keathley insisted that the rat theory doesn’t explain all the noises. “A rat, my foot-a rat who knows how to type?” he said.- Texas Lawyer Bad secularists These thieves apparently didn’t listen to “Thou shalt not steal.” A portrait of Jesus Christ was taken from the Bridgeport, W.Va., High School two days after the school board agreed to fight court efforts to remove it. An intruder snatched the contentious painting just before 4 a.m. but left behind the gilded frame and backing, Schools Superintendent Carl Friebel said. “The picture was the only thing stolen, so the deliberate intent was to steal the picture and only the picture.” The painting, which depicts Jesus in sepia tones on a large canvas, hung on the wall outside the principal’s office and had been at the school for 37 years. The Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the West Virginia American Civil Liberties Union sued the school board in June, saying the painting, Head of Christ, sends the message that the school endorses Christianity as its official religion. An outside group, the Christian Freedom Fund, raised more than $150,000 to pay the board’s legal costs.- Associated Press

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