- The Washington Times - Friday, October 4, 2002

MICHIGAN

Singer-songwriter to receive award

DEARBORN Smokey Robinson, the Motown singer-songwriter behind a string of pop hits in the 1960s, will receive an award from a Michigan arts organization.

The man who performed "The Tracks of My Tears" and "I Second That Emotion" will be recognized for his international achievement in music at the 17th annual Governors' Awards for Arts & Culture.

The 62-year-old was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.


NEW YORK

Falwell: Islam's prophet was 'terrorist'

The Rev. Jerry Falwell says, "I think Muhammad was a terrorist," in an interview to be broadcast Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes."

The conservative Baptist minister tells correspondent Bob Simon that he has concluded from reading Muslim and non-Muslim writers that Islam's prophet was "a violent man, a man of war."

"Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses," Mr. Falwell says. "I think Muhammad set an opposite example."


ARIZONA

Councilman takes fire over adult store

PHOENIX A dispute over an adult superstore coming to a north Phoenix neighborhood has mushroomed into a squabble over the performance of City Council member Dave Siebert, reports the Arizona Republic.

The Castle Megastore was expected to gain approval yesterday at a hearing of the board of adjustment, but some neighborhood residents complain that Mr. Siebert did not do enough to keep the lingerie and video emporium from moving in.

"We feel like he has not only dropped the ball, but he has stabbed us in the back," said Taggart Barron, a resident.

Mr. Siebert rejects the accusations.

"I never promised when I ran for office that I could part the seas or walk on water," said Mr. Siebert, a plumbers union manager who has represented north Phoenix's District 1 for seven years. "I have done the best I can."


ARKANSAS

Clinton library suit is dismissed

LITTLE ROCK A lawsuit challenging the city's method of paying for land for the William J. Clinton Presidential Center was dismissed just days before the case was set to go to trial.

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Collins Kilgore issued an order Wednesday dropping the case at the request of the attorney for the anti-tax activist who filed the lawsuit.

Lawyer David Henry said he needed more time to prepare the case for trial.

But Nora Harris, who filed the lawsuit in April 2001, said later Wednesday that she didn't authorize Mr. Henry to drop the case and had fired him. She said she would ask the judge to reconsider.

She says the city will illegally tap general tax revenues to repay bonds issued to purchase the land for the library. The city sold $11.5 million in bonds to make the purchase, and pledged revenue from city parks and the zoo to repay the bonds.


CALIFORNIA

Court considers bail for actor

LOS ANGELES The California Supreme Court has ordered the county Sheriff Department to explain why actor Robert Blake should not have a bail hearing before going on trial for the May 4, 2001, murder of his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley.

The high court ordered the department, which runs the county jails and investigated the murder, to show the trial court the evidence supporting a special charge of "lying in wait" against Mr. Blake. The special charge makes the 69-year-old former star of the "Baretta" crime-fighting TV series ineligible for bail.

The justices ordered the department to show "whether 'the facts are evident or the presumption great'" with respect to Mr. Blake's guilt on the lying-in-wait charge, according the court order issued Wednesday.

The charges against Mr. Blake murder, soliciting murder, conspiracy to commit murder and lying in wait could land him in prison for the rest of his life. He has been denied bail thrice.


COLORADO

Owens opposing Amendment 31

DENVER Colorado Gov. Bill Owens announced this week that he is opposing Amendment 31, making him the latest state Republican to denounce the anti-bilingual education initiative pushed onto the ballot by Silicon Valley millionaire Ron Unz.

Mr. Owens said the measure contained a "fatal flaw" because it allowed parents to sue school officials for up to a decade if their children are "injured" by bilingual education programs, even if the parents themselves requested the placement.

But Mr. Unz suggested that the governor was probably influenced by the $3 million donation last week to English Plus, the opposition campaign by Colorado heiress Patricia Stryker. The contribution, believed to be the largest in state history, will be used to fund an anti-Amendment 31 television ad campaign.

"I can think of 3 million reasons why [Mr. Owens] would oppose it," Mr. Unz said.

The latest polls show that 65 percent of voters favor the measure, despite opposition from Democratic and Republican leaders. A similar initiative in Massachusetts, Question 2, also is favored to pass in November.

Mr. Unz has run other successful anti-bilingual education campaigns, one in California, in 1998, and another in Arizona, in 2000.


DELAWARE

Grant aids history lessons

WILMINGTON The University of Delaware and the Indian River School District will share a nearly $1 million grant over the next three years to bolster teaching of American history in public schools, the News-Journal reports.

The Teaching American History grant, awarded by the Department of Education's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, will be used to offer intensive, weeklong summer camps and in-service training for the state's elementary and secondary history teachers.

The grant program stemmed from a concern that many youngsters lacked a basic understanding of traditional American history, said Raymond Wolters, the Thomas Muncy Keith professor of history at the university, who will run the summer programs.


GEORGIA

Baby gets West Nile, likely from mom's milk

ATLANTA Federal health officials said yesterday that a Michigan infant has the West Nile virus and probably got it from the breast milk of his infected mother.

The child is healthy and his mother is recovering, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC said it was virtually certain that the virus came from breast milk, though there is no way to be completely sure.

Doctors stressed that breast milk is the healthiest food for babies and that mothers shouldn't quit nursing because of West Nile fears.

Last week, when the case was being investigated, the CDC urged new mothers with the virus to talk with their doctors about whether to continue breast feeding.


INDIANA

Wedding photo finds its way back to couple

INDIANAPOLIS Their home of nearly 30 years destroyed, their personal belongings flung far and wide, the Gressels were badly stung by the Sept. 20 tornadoes.

The couple, both in their 70s, lived in an area of the Far Southside badly damaged by the severe storms. Neighbors had to pull them from the wreckage of their home, and they were lucky to escape with just scrapes and bruises.

They were lucky, too, that another city resident, about 20 miles away, found a little piece of their family history in his yard and made an effort to return it. Don Grayson was able to give back to Marvin and Sariann Gressel their 1950 wedding photo, reports the Star.

Mr. Grayson met the two last week, exactly one week after the photo and other possessions were ripped from the couple's home and sent flying.


KANSAS

Despite steady rainfall, area thirsts for more

LAWRENCE Three days of rain may have helped three months or even three weeks ago.

But showers the first part of October won't be enough to rescue farmers, lakes and rivers from the effects of a tinder-dry summer.

"What it's going to do is hinder the soybean harvest," Norraine Wingfield, coordinator of Douglas County Farm Bureau, told the Journal-World. "It's too little, too late."

Levels at Perry Lake hit an all-time low this week, and Clinton Lake is as shallow as it has been in nearly a decade. Canoers and kayakers on the Kaw River have spent as much time dragging their boats as paddling them on the parched river.


MINNESOTA

Ventura 'too busy' to vote on primary day

ST. PAUL On the day that some Minnesotans wore stickers that said, "I voted," should the governor have worn a sticker that read, "I golfed"?

Gov. Jesse Ventura, who has made a major effort to encourage young people to go to the polls, did not vote in the statewide primary on Sept. 10. He said this week that he had been too busy with state appointments to vote, reports the Pioneer Press.

"I was so busy that day," Mr. Ventura told Minnesota Public Radio on Tuesday. His spokesman said he had meetings at the Capitol in the morning and accompanied a group of young people to the Minnesota Twins game late afternoon.

The Web site that lists the golf scores of amateurs with official golf handicaps, www.ghin.com, states that Mr. Ventura posted a score of 90 at his home course, the Tournament Players Club in Blaine, on election day.


MISSISSIPPI

Coloring books warn of pesticide in fish

JACKSON The state is distributing coloring books to youngsters in schools and libraries to warn them of the dangers of pesticide-tainted fish in Delta waters.

Pesticides banned decades ago are still present in the heavily agricultural Delta.


MISSOURI

State tax revenues drop 2.7% in first quarter

JEFFERSON CITY Tax revenues for the first quarter of Missouri's fiscal year fell 2.7 percent from last year, raising concerns among state budget officials.

The decline becomes more pronounced when compared with the 3.1 percent growth anticipated in the state's fiscal 2003 budget.

Missouri is in its second year of declining revenues.


MONTANA

Candidate has blue-gray complexion

GREAT FALLS Montana's Libertarian candidate for Senate has turned blue from drinking a silver solution that he believed would protect him from disease.

Stan Jones, a 63-year-old business consultant and part-time college instructor, said he started taking colloidal silver in 1999 for fear that year-2000 disruptions might lead to a shortage of antibiotics. His skin began turning blue-gray a year ago.

"People ask me if it's permanent and if I'm dead," he said. "I tell them I'm practicing for Halloween."

He does not take the supplement any longer, but the skin condition, called argyria, is permanent. The condition generally is not serious.

Mr. Jones is one of three candidates seeking to unseat Democratic Sen. Max Baucus in November.

The others are Republican state Sen. Mike Taylor and Green Party candidate Bob Kelleher.


NEBRASKA

Tri-cities attract people from farms, small towns

LINCOLN Nebraska's tri-cities of Grand Island, Hastings and Kearney have become magnet communities.

A University of Nebraska study found that the combined population of the three cities increased 71 percent since 1950 to 94,035, in a nationwide trend of people moving from farms and small towns to cities.


NEVADA

Crow donates guitar to help cop's family

RENO Sheryl Crow has donated an autographed electric guitar to benefit the family of a Reno police officer killed in a motorcycle accident last week.

Officer Mike Scofield, 55, and another motorcycle officer were responding to an accident Sept. 26 when a sport utility vehicle apparently pulled in front of him from a business driveway partially obscured by trees.

The 25-year department veteran had planned to retire within a year. He is survived by his wife and four grown children.

Miss Crow donated the signed Squier by Fender guitar to radio station KNEV-FM after a concert Saturday night at the Reno Hilton, confirmed a spokeswoman at A&M Records in Los Angeles.

The guitar went up for sale Tuesday on EBay. Bids will be accepted until the afternoon of Oct. 11.


NEW HAMPSHIRE

Corps counts 500-plus Dartmouth alumni

HANOVER The Peace Corps says Dartmouth contributes more alumni than many schools two or three times larger.

Among schools with graduating classes of fewer than 5,000, Dartmouth ranks fifth in Peace Corps membership. More than 500 alumni have been members.

Eighteen Dartmouth alumni are serving around the world at this time.


NEW JERSEY

Cop pleads guilty to taking museum items

CAMDEN A police officer pleaded guilty to charges of stealing two items from the USS New Jersey, a battleship displayed at a waterfront museum.

Shane Daly, 39, admitted Wednesday that he took a dogging wrench, used to secure hatches, and a sign listing safety precautions for areas containing ammunition.

The thefts occurred Sept. 27, 2001, while he was patrolling the museum and were discovered the next day. Daly was charged with official misconduct.

Daly was part of a security team assigned to patrol the area after the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has been permanently barred from law enforcement work in New Jersey.


NEW MEXICO

Woman killed in construction mishap

ALBUQUERQUE Ralph Maestas and his co-workers were devastated when they moved quickly but not fast enough to save a woman buried in her car.

The construction workers heard a loud crash Wednesday morning, Mr. Maestas said. A tractor-trailer from an unrelated company had tipped over on a small red car, smothering it in about 24 tons of dirt.

"She was basically buried alive. So we brought everything we had from the job we were doing across the street to help her," he told the Albuquerque Tribune.

Police said the driver, Laura A. Miera, 48, died at the scene.


SOUTH CAROLINA

College distributes money to teach values

CLINTON With stories of corporate scandal and greed stealing headlines across the country, Presbyterian College President John Griffith wanted to prove that people still have a social conscience.

So he gave 100 freshmen, chosen at random, $50 bills that they could spend any way they wanted, with the requirement that they report back on how they spent it.

"Too many lessons in a college classroom have nothing to do with developing a social" awareness, Mr. Griffith told the Greenville News.

Student Chandler Guess said the experiment has made her rethink how she spends her money. The Summerville resident decided to send her $50 overseas. Her church sponsors a mission in Citie Soleil in Haiti. Her money will cover the schooling costs of a dozen Haitian girls for a year.

No reports have come back saying the students spent the money on pizza, beer or video games.


TENNESSEE

Actress to marry country singer

NASHVILLE The star of "Father of the Bride" plans to walk down the aisle with country star Brad Paisley.

Kimberly Williams, 31, and the 29-year-old singer are engaged, Paisley spokesman Allen Brown confirmed Wednesday.

Miss Williams starred with Steve Martin in the 1991 comedy "Father of the Bride" and a 1995 sequel.

Mr. Paisley's hits include "We Danced" and "He Didn't Have to Be."

Miss Williams is one of the stars of ABC sitcom "According to Jim."


UTAH

$250,000 to be spent on cloud seeding

OGDEN State officials plan to spend more than $250,000 on cloud seeding this winter.

They say it will improve the amount of precipitation about 10 percent to 20 percent. The state figures it gets an acre foot of water for every dollar spent on seeding.

An acre foot is about what a family uses in a year.

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