State and local briefly

Posted: Wednesday, May 31, 2000

Anchorage schools send layoff notices

ANCHORAGE - Another 50 layoff notices went out Tuesday to Anchorage school district employees.

Of those who received the notices, 46 are part-time kindergarten aides, district officials said. The district is eliminating 176 jobs to meet an $11 million budget shortfall in next year's budget.

The layoff notices began going out late last week when nine workers with the Community Schools program got pink slips. That's the program that offers after-school and adult education classes.

The school year ends Thursday and the layoffs will not take effect before then.

Layoff notices will be going out through the week to nontenured teachers, district officials said.

Judge orders new murder trial

ANCHORAGE - A man convicted 14 years ago of murdering his wife has won a new trial from a judge who said a translator should have been assigned to help him with his original trial.

Superior Court Judge Karen Hunt ruled last week that the lawyer who defended Abidin ``Dino'' Zeciri in 1985 was ineffective and the state needs to try him again. Zeciri's public defender was Dana Fabe, now a justice of the Alaska Supreme Court.

Zeciri was convicted of shooting his wife in the chest during a fight in their South Anchorage home. The prosecution said Zeciri killed his wife, Safije, because she berated him about his infidelities, including having fathered an illegitimate son.

The defense said she killed herself because she had recently given birth to a girl when she believed she needed a boy to save her marriage. The couple had three daughters, including a 3-month-old.

Zeciri and his wife were Albanians from what was then Yugoslavia.

The question of a translator for Zeciri came up briefly before the trial, but neither Zeciri nor Fabe nor the judge pushed it. At a hearing last month, Fabe and other lawyers who worked with Zeciri back in the 1980s testified that he spoke English well.

Zeciri remains jailed pending a bail decision.

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