ORLANDO, FLA.

Defendant called leader

The Florida A&M band member being tried on hazing charges in the death of drum major Robert Champion was the leader and decided who could participate in the initiation ritual, two former band members said Wednesday. Former band member Lizette Sanchez testified that Dante Martin decided who was allowed to participate in the hazing ritual known as “crossing Bus C.” She said she initially decided she wasn’t going to take part in 2011, but changed her mind in an effort to end shunning from older band members who called her a “bad upperclassman” for not having done it.

MONTPELIER, VT.

Poet Kinnell dies at 87

Galway Kinnell, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who opened up American verse in the 1960s and beyond through his forceful, spiritual takes on the outsiders and underside of contemporary life, has died at age 87. Kinnell’s wife Bobbie Bristol said he died Tuesday at home in Sheffield, Vt. He had leukemia. He won the Pulitzer and National Book Award for the 1982 release Selected Poems and later received a MacArthur Genius Fellowship. His other books included Body Rags, Mortal Acts, Mortal Words, The Past and his final book of poetry, Strong Is Your Hold, released in 2006.

PORTLAND, ORE.

Sick woman visits canyon

A 29-year-old terminally ill woman who plans to take her life under an Oregon law has fulfilled a wish on her bucket list: She visited the Grand Canyon. Brittany Maynard visited the national park with her family last week. Maynard, who has advanced brain cancer, has said she plans to take advantage of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act and end her own life Saturday, though she could change her decision. Maynard and her husband moved to Oregon where terminally ill patients may take lethal medications prescribed by a doctor. More than 750 used the law to die as of Dec. 31, 2013. The median age was 71. Only six were younger than 34, like Maynard.

WASHINGTON

Holder wants Mo. changes

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said there was an obvious need for “wholesale change” in the Ferguson, Mo., police department. The Justice Department is investigating its practices after the Aug. 9 shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old, Michael Brown.

Compiled from wire reports