- The Washington Times - Friday, August 3, 2001

Panel dismisses ethics complaint
The House ethics committee dismissed a complaint that Indiana Rep. Steve Buyer used government resources to help the Republican Party during the presidential-election recount in Florida. The committee said, however, that a member of Mr. Buyer's staff did act improperly.
Rep. Peter Deutsch, Florida Democrat, last month filed a complaint claiming that Mr. Buyer used his position at the time, as chairman of the Armed Services subcommittee on military personnel, to obtain e-mail addresses and other information on service members who voted by overseas ballot. The complaint said he gave that information to the Republican Party to influence the outcome of the election.
The House Standards of Official Conduct Committee, in a letter to Mr. Buyer Wednesday, said it had "determined to dismiss in full" the complaint. The bipartisan panel said it had found no evidence that Mr. Buyer had provided information on military absentee voters to anyone for political purposes or directed a member of his subcommittee staff to do so.

Woman sues husband's reputed lover
CHARLOTTE, N.C. A North Carolina woman has filed an alienation-of-affection lawsuit against a man she suspected of entering into a homosexual relationship with her husband, ending their 11-year marriage, according to the lawsuit.
Billie Jean Bonner filed suit in Charlotte, N.C., claiming her husband's reported homosexual relationship with another married man broke up her marriage. The lawsuit was filed last week in Mecklenburg County Superior Court. She is seeking unspecified monetary damages.
Mrs. Bonner, a jewelry broker who is in her 40s and has since separated from her husband, said the man expressed his love for her husband in telephone calls and e-mail messages. The two met from time to time for clandestine trysts, including at least one at Mrs. Bonner's home, according to the lawsuit.

Tropical storm heads for U.S.
MIAMI Tropical Storm Barry formed in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday and lashed parts of Florida with as much of 8 inches of rain as it churned toward the Louisiana coast.
At 3 p.m., the storm was 320 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It was moving northwest at 5 mph with maximum sustained winds near 40 mph, just above the threshold to become a tropical storm.
The storm was expected to strengthen through today, said hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Barry is the second named storm of the 2001 hurricane season.

Strip-club owner pleads guilty
ATLANTA The owner of an Atlanta strip club that federal prosecutors said provided sexual favors to professional athletes and laundered money for the mob pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of racketeering.
As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Gold Club owner Steve Kaplan agreed to pay a large fine and to forfeit the glitzy nude-bar building and property to the government.
Several of Kaplan's six co-defendants also entered guilty pleas to lesser offenses.
All seven had been on trial on charges of profiting from prostitution, loan-sharking, fraud and other crimes reportedly committed at the flashy bar that has drawn the likes of pop star Madonna.

Officials offer prizes to get smokers to quit
LEXINGTON, Ky. Forget personal goals, will power or resolutions. Kentucky health officials are using the lure of cold hard cash to get people to end their addictions to tobacco.
As part of a statewide contest called "Bluegrass Quit and Win 2001," smokers who are able to live without tobacco for a month will be entered into a drawing for a $2,500 grand prize or one of five $500 runner-up prizes.
"The exciting thing about this program is that we may have as many people quit smoking during this one month than have quit across the state in the last five years combined," said Todd Warnick, smoking-cessation director for Fayette County, one of 10 counties sponsoring the contest.

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