- The Washington Times - Friday, February 9, 2001

Escaped convicts proud of time on the lam

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Three of six prisoners recaptured after breaking out of an Alabama maximum-security prison said yesterday the escape was easy and freedom was worth it.
"I just had to be free for a change," said Jack Allred, a robber serving a life sentence. "It was great. I'd do it all again."
Allred was among six fugitives caught last week in Bucksnort, Tenn., two days after they broke out of the St. Clair Correctional Facility northeast of Birmingham.
Allred, James McClain and Steve Murphy granted brief interviews to reporters yesterday against their attorneys' advice. Billy Gamble, O.C. Borden and Gary Ray Scott declined.
Murphy said the highlight of his freedom was eating a bologna sandwich from a Bucksnort convenience store.
"Those people should be on the map because they make one of the best," he said.

Atlantis closes in on space station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Space shuttle Atlantis closed in on the International Space Station yesterday for a 225-mile-high linkup to attach a $1.4 billion science laboratory.

The two-day chase is due to end around noon today.

Atlantis' five astronauts spent their first full day in orbit checking their space suits and the shuttle robot arm, all of which will be needed to attach the laboratory to the space station.

Democrat sworn into Bush Cabinet

President Bush formally welcomed a Democrat to his Cabinet yesterday, watching as Norman Y. Mineta was publicly sworn in as the 14th transportation secretary.
The Republican president looked on as Mr. Mineta took a ceremonial oath in the Oval Office, sealing his transition from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration. Mr. Mineta, who served as President Clinton's commerce secretary, was officially sworn into the new administration last month.
"I can think of no more fertile ground for bipartisan consensus-building than in the field of transportation policy," Mr. Mineta said. "I look forward to working as part of your administration's effort to help build that consensus."

Nearly $500,000 falls out of armored truck

CLEVELAND Nearly a half-million dollars wrapped in three packages fell out of an armored truck onto a busy street, apparently through a partly open door, and the FBI is investigating how the money disappeared.
An armored truck employee told the FBI that he noticed the missing money nearly $500,000 about 8 a.m. Wednesday when he found a door ajar, the FBI said.
The money vanished on a half-mile journey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland to Jacobs Field, home of the Indians.
The cash was enclosed in plastic wrap, with each package weighing about 42 pounds, FBI spokesman Robert Hawk said.

Vermont governor plans to raise beer tax

NEW YORK Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has recommended paying for a $3 million anti-heroin program by increasing the beer tax about a penny a can, TV station WCAX said yesterday.
Retailers immediately criticized the plan, which would increase the per-gallon tax on beer from 26 cents to 36 cents a 40-percent increase. The station said the plan would give Vermont the highest beer tax in the Northeast.

Reporters must give fingerprints for trial

FRESNO, Calif. Reporters covering the state trial of Yosemite Park killer Cary Stayner are being required to undergo fingerprint checks by authorities concerned about security.
The measure has surprised editors and news directors.
"This is the first thing I've heard about it," said Charlie Waters, executive editor of the Fresno Bee. "This is absurd."
Mr. Waters said yesterday he would have fought the measure had he known of it.
Stayner is serving a federal life sentence for killing a Yosemite naturalist. This time he faces the chance of execution, but prosecutors have not said whether they will seek the death penalty.

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