HELENA, Mont. (AP) In a quick about-face, the Montana Senate yesterday dumped a proposal requiring people convicted of homosexual acts to register with police, and one of its supporters apologized.

On a voice vote without debate, the Senate bowed to overwhelming public criticism and deleted the provision from a sex-offender registration bill. Only a day earlier, the same body passed it 41-8.

Republican Sen. Al Bishop of Billings apologized for describing gay sex as worse than rape.

''We all know in the heat of debate that things are said without careful thought as to precise meaning or implication,'' he said. ''I never intended nor meant to infer that consensual sexual acts between adults of the same sex are in the same category as violent sexual acts. I regret that I made the statement.''

The retreat followed a deluge of criticism from people across the nation.

Gov. Marc Racicot's office said it fielded about 100 phone calls from people critical of the gay-registration section.

SUN CITY (AP) Ella Krenzien is blind, nearly deaf and confined to a wheelchair. And at age 103, she is embarking on a new career as a crime fighter.

Krenzien was sworn in as the newest member of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's posse in this community near Phoenix.

Arpaio has used his 2,300-member volunteer posse in the past two years to patrol shopping malls and crack down on prostitution in downtown Phoenix. He now is planning a crackdown on graffiti artists and taggers.

Tuesday, Arpaio presented Krenzien with a badge and made her a deputy.

''They better watch out now,'' she said.

Krenzien has been a supporter of the Sun City posse since her 1960 move to Sun City from Colorado, but it wasn't until last year's Gala Night Out that the centenarian expressed an interest in becoming a posse member.

''I was working last year's block watch and Ella was so disappointed because I didn't bring her a junior deputy badge,'' said posse member Jerry Champagne. ''I ran to the store and got her a badge and she was so happy it took 25 years off her life. I told the sheriff about her and he decided she should have a real badge."

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