- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 19, 2001

Judge blocks Army training
HONOLULU — A federal judge, siding with an ethnic-Hawaiian group, temporarily blocked the Army's planned live-ammunition training in a remote valley.
A group called Malama Makua contends there is a serious potential for harm to endangered species and ancient Hawaiian cultural sites in the Makua Valley on the island of Oahu if the training, suspended since 1998 to address environmental concerns, is allowed to resume.
U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday blocking the training, pending an Oct. 29 hearing on whether the Army should have completed an environmental-impact statement instead of the less-comprehensive environmental assessment it performed.

Teacher assigns fatal-robbery essay
SPRINGFIELD, Pa. — A high school student's father is calling for disciplinary action against a teacher who assigned his son's summer-school class to write a fictional first-person account of an armed robbery and murder.
Students in the class were given two essay options, one of which was to write a 300-word essay on the following topic: "We only meant to rob the store; we didn't want to kill him."
"I think the teacher should be suspended for three days and get some counseling," Tom Moore said. "If they found that my son had written something like this on his own, that's what would happen to him."
Teacher John Zappacosta, who has been in the Springfield School District for more than three decades, said he had apologized to Mr. Moore. He said he had pulled out an old assignment from files he had not used since the 1980s.

Child used to secure crack-cocaine deal
LEXINGTON, Ky. — A woman pleaded guilty to charges she left her 7-year-old daughter for collateral in a crack-cocaine deal.
Sherry Von Penrod, 41, was sentenced Tuesday to the maximum one year in jail for endangering the welfare of a minor, a misdemeanor. Penrod won't have to do time if she completes two years on probation without further criminal convictions.
Police said Penrod didn't have money to pay for the crack cocaine she smoked with other persons two weeks ago. She left her daughter as collateral while she drove home to Morehead for cash, police said.
The girl remained in state custody.

Wu-Tang rapper gets drug sentence
NEW YORK — Rapper ODB of Wu-Tang Clan was sentenced to two to four years in prison yesterday on drug-possession charges.
The state Supreme Court also recommended that the artist, whose real name is Russell Jones, be examined by corrections department officials to determine if he needs psychiatric or substance-abuse treatment, a court spokeswoman said.
Jones, a founding member of the hard-core rap group Wu-Tang Clan, pleaded guilty in April to drug-possession charges. He was arrested in July 1999 in the New York borough of Queens after police, who pulled him over for a running a red light, found cocaine and marijuana in his possession.
Jones, 32, has had other run-ins with the law. In November 1999, he pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to charges in two separate cases: making terrorist threats to patrons of the popular West Hollywood nightclub House of Blues in 1998 and to being a convicted felon in possession of body armor in 1999.

Explosion kills two at Texas gas well
BUFFALO, Texas — A natural-gas well exploded yesterday afternoon, killing two persons and injuring five others, the Texas Department of Public Safety said. The well was not on fire.
The well, owned by the Scottish Oil Co., exploded when workers were attempting to bleed the line, DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange said.
The wellhead apparently cracked and exploded, sending a large pipe to the surface, she said.
One of the injured was in critical condition last night, and a 47-year-old man was in serious condition from fractures.
Buffalo, a central Texas town of about 2,000 people, is 100 miles southeast of Dallas and 65 miles east of Waco.

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