The morning Odds & Ends |

The morning Odds & Ends

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. Prosecutors summoned parents of repeatedly truant children to attend a meeting about the law concerning excessive absences. About 40 percent of the adults didnt show up.Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols mailed letters about the Tuesday evening meeting to 582 parents, but 241 were absent.State law allows prosecutors to hold parents accountable for their childrens school absences. Knox County in February arrested 19 parents whose children had 10 or more unexcused absences from school. Parents found guilty can be punished by a year in jail.We have only just begun, Nichols said. We mean this. I dont know how else to say it. Youre going to send your child to school.Cecelia Donaldson, who received a letter about her 5-year-old grandsons absences, went to the school where the meeting was held but refused to enter the auditorium.She said her grandson has asthma and other medical problems.I dont want to hear what Randy Nichols has to say, she said. He needs to call my house when (my grandson is) up at 3 in the morning throwing up everything he ate.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. It was a simple case of mistaken identity, and it nearly cost a casino $25,000.New Jersey casino regulators, who had fined the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa for letting a banned gambler stay overnight, rescinded the penalty Wednesday, admitting that it was the son of reputed mobster Anthony Gaspipe Casso, not Casso himself, who checked in and played table games at the casino one night in 2003.It couldnt have been Casso, regulators learned after imposing the fine two months ago: Hes doing life in a federal prison.We all make mistakes, said Casino Control Commission member Michael Fedorko.The incident stemmed from Cassos status on the commissions exclusion list, a blacklist of 171 people deemed to be bad influences on Atlantic City casinos and banned from entering them.Casso, 64, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was a suspected street boss in the Lucchese family organization who was added to the list in 1990. He was captured in 1993 and pleaded guilty to murder and racketeering charges in 1994 after turning government witness. He is serving a life sentence at the Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colo.

WEST COVINA, Calif. As Paul Moghadan puts it, a good toilette is good for the bottom line.A chandelier, silver columns and a marble counter adorn the bathroom at his Chevron gas station in West Covina, some 20 miles east of Los Angeles. The walls are decorated in rich earth tones and blue stone tiles, giving the 10-foot-wide room a slight Tuscan ambiance or maybe a touch of Vegas.I wanted to give the restroom the greatest look I could. I wanted to show how much I respect my customers, said Moghadan, 55. I started with Chevron in 1966, and they trained us back then that the No. 1 priority was the station bathroom.Moghadan started remodeling the indoor, unisex bathroom 13 years ago, spending $5,000 more than he would have for a standard bathroom. He asked his brother, an architectural designer, to concoct something motorists wouldnt forget.Its the best restroom Ive ever seen, said Jose Montes of West Covina. You feel like youre rich when youre in there.In the last dozen years, Moghadan said he has an average of 20 compliments a day about the bathroom.I have customers from Palm Springs and Las Vegas who make a point of stopping here, he said. Some even bring in relatives to show them the bathroom.

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