This isn't about Google ratfox, this is about a general law that Google decided to ignore. Anyone displaying such information without the right to do so or if the information falls into the irrelevant, no longer relevant etc. (which is the case here), they must take it down.
In the case of the paper, it was public record from the 90s and they are a newspaper, so they don't have to take it down, even though the information is "no longer relevant". Registered press has some leniency and as long as it wasn't liabalous, they can leave it up - this is part of the problem, the papers used to be a record of the day, and unless you went to their archives or searched through microfiche at a library, you wouldn't find the information; something that is too much bother for most people. With the advent of the internet and searching this information that should be "legally forgotten" is always just a couple of keystrokes away.
I would also think, that the case in question that it would be clear on the newspaper site that it is historical, because you would have to search their online archive to find it. The Google result probably (I haven't checked) doesn't differentiate it that much from current results - especially if the archive was first put online a few years ago; it probably wouldn't even display the correct date, making it seem on the search list that the information might still be relevant. If a researcher didn't go further than making a few clip notes on the Google page, they would be gathering "no longer relevant" information as relevant.
Could a news agency publish the information that Google had to remove? Probably not, if it was no longer relevant or irrelevant to the "public good". They would have to have good grounds to do so, something like "Google wasn't allowed to display results for ratfox and armed robbery, because he was found not guilty in 1997," probably wouldn't be sufficient.