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The Blue & Gray Press | September 26, 2017

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Outside the Fence

By HEATHER BRADY

Regional
Derrick Gosnell, a 25-year-old Spotsylvania County man charged last month with the attempted rape of two women working in local motels, decided on Oct. 28 to act as his own attorney during his preliminary hearings. Three out of four charges were certified to the grand jury by the general District Court judge after repeated objections to Gosnell’s unconventional lines of questioning. The charges were alleged by a housekeeper at the Super 8 Motel on U.S. 1 in Spotsylvania, who testified against Gosnell as the man who forced her to perform oral sex and attacked her while she was taking the linens off of a bed in a motel room Aug. 30. (The Free Lance-Star, Oct. 29; www.fredericksburg.com)

National
Over the past three years, the efforts of large cities and rural towns to bring WiFi to every street corner, park bench, and doorstep have largely fallen flat as Internet service providers abandoned the projects, including those in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Arlington, Va. The goal was to bring cheap Internet access to undeserved areas and low-income neighborhoods, but the projects proved to be far more expensive than expected. However, encouraged by the prospect of spurring economic development in spite of the souring economy, many municipalities decided to move forward by investing in the technology themselves. This has given police officers, building inspectors and paramedics access to their networks while working in the field, and many communities are trying to attract shops to underdeveloped areas through its availability. (The Washington Post, Nov. 5; www.washingtonpost.com)

Global
On Tuesday, Nov. 4, Congo’s government rejected a rebel leader’s demand for direct talks to resolve a conflict that has left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and hungry. Government spokesperson Lambert Mende said that President Joseph Kabila’s administration is “open for dialogue” with regional rebel and militia groups, but will not meet directly with rebel leader Laurent Nkunda’s group. The rebels warned that the government’s refusal could lead to more fighting. “If they won’t negotiate with us, then they leave us little choice,” rebel spokesman Bertrand Bisimwa said. (The Washington Post, Nov. 4; www.washingtonpost.com)

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