- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 28, 2003

ILLINOIS

Sea horse exhibit rides into the sunset

CHICAGO — When the Shedd Aquarium opened its Seahorse Symphony exhibit, experts warned it was doomed to fail. The Shedd, they said, would fare no better at keeping sea horses alive than any pet owner would — two to four months, at best.

That was 5 years and 10 million visitors ago. And dozens of the original creatures are still very much alive.

The exhibit — which features some 20 species of sea horses and closely related sea dragons, snipefish, pipe fish and trumpet fish — closes Jan. 4 after a run that was supposed to last only 18 months. Along the way, the aquarium made many discoveries on the care of the eye-catching creatures, and also helped efforts to protect sea horses and other marine life.

WASHINGTON

Hero pilot fights for daughter’s life

SEATAC — More than a decade ago, Capt. Al Haynes was credited with saving 185 lives when he crash-landed a crippled DC-10 in Iowa. Now he’s trying to save the life of his own daughter.

Laurie Arguello, 39, needs a bone-marrow transplant because she suffers from aplastic anemia — a condition in which her bone marrow cannot produce enough white or red blood cells.

Although a donor has been found, Mrs. Arguello needs to raise $156,000 for the transplant, plus another $100,000 for follow-up care.

In the two weeks since Mrs. Arguello, her father and 25 friends began to raise money, they’ve collected more than $30,000 — much of it from the Airline Pilots Association and the Association of Flight Attendants.

ALASKA

Memorial to feature giant gemstone

FAIRBANKS — The centerpiece for a peace officer memorial in Fairbanks will be a 3,600-pound chunk of jade, donated to the city by the NANA Native Corp.

The memorial will honor Fairbanks-area police and Alaska State Troopers killed in the line of duty. Jade is the Alaska state gemstone.

ARIZONA

Beetles threaten state’s forests

MESA — Beetles that eat pine cones threaten Arizona’s forests, officials say. The beetles and their larvae, which officials say arrived from India in bags of potpourri, bore through pine cones, eating them and destroying their ability to reproduce.

If the beetles establish a permanent presence, the reduced seed production would devastate forests, officials say.

FLORIDA

Robbery suspect arrested while drunk

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES — A man robbed a bank, then took a cab to a liquor store, where he got drunk before he was arrested two hours later, police said.

William F. Nutley, 56, was picked up trying to leave through the back door of the liquor store, said Sgt. Mike Fowler of the Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety.

Mr. Nutley had robbed a Bank of America branch Tuesday by telling a teller that he had an accomplice who would shoot her if she did not give him money, Sgt. Fowler said.

He then walked across the street to wait for a taxi to take him about 10 miles to the New Smyrna Beach liquor store, where police found him and a portion of the stolen money, Sgt. Fowler said. Mr. Nutley was charged with robbery.

GEORGIA

Alcohol vendors protest new rules

ALBANY — A city ordinance requiring alcohol vendors to post their Social Security numbers and other information violates their privacy, some vendors say.

City officials say the rule, along with training, will help reduce alcohol sales to minors.

INDIANA

Samaritan killed, two injured in hit-and-runs

INDIANAPOLIS — Two men fixing a flat tire were struck by a sport utility vehicle last week, killing one of them, and a man who stopped to help after the hit-and-run was struck by another car that also fled the scene, state police said.

Indiana State Police said the incidents occurred during the morning darkness on Interstate 465, a highway that rings the city. No arrests were made, said state police spokesman Sgt. Dave Bursten.

Police said Clifford A. Coats, 26, had stopped to assist Emanuel Kiwanuka, 55, change a tire when they were struck from behind by a white SUV, killing Mr. Coats.

Another driver, Paul Morris, 43, saw the body in the road and stopped to help but was struck by a small sports car that fled.

Mr. Kiwanuka was treated at a hospital for leg injuries and released, and Mr. Morris was taken to a hospital for leg and shoulder injuries.

MASSACHUSETTS

Banned prize angers bridge players

ANDOVER — Bridge players at the Andover Senior Center say the deck is stacked against them.

Seniors are threatening to boycott the center after town officials abolished a $4 weekly prize at the afternoon bridge club, saying it violated gambling laws.

Players heckled Town Manager Reginald Stapczynski when he came to discuss the policy three weeks ago. One dared him to compare war records.

Volunteer Eve Perry quit after organizing the group for nine years.

Mr. Stapczynski said officials decided they could not condone illegal gambling of any amount.

Bingo games offer cash prizes at senior centers with a special permit, but no special permits exist for bridge games, he said.

Andover police said they weren’t behind the crackdown on cash prizes and don’t envision any raids at the senior center.

MINNESOTA

Man gets stuck in bookstore’s chimney

MINNEAPOLIS — A naked man got stuck in the chimney of a bookstore early Christmas morning. It wasn’t Santa Claus.

The 34-year-old man was treated for bruises and abrasions at Hennepin County Medical Center after being found naked and lodged in the furnace flue at Uncle Hugo’s Bookstore.

Police suspect that the man was drunk when he climbed atop the one-story building and removed all his clothes to help squeeze into the chimney. He then started to slide down the 12-by-12-inch chimney shaft, police Lt. Mike Sauro said.

“He’s not Santa Claus,” Mr. Sauro said. “He’s a really skinny guy. And he’s lucky he didn’t get cooked.”

The man told police that he entered the chimney about 1 a.m. Thursday to retrieve keys he accidentally dropped down the shaft.

A passer-by called police around 9 a.m. Thursday, after hearing screams for help coming from inside the store. Firefighters broke into the chimney with sledgehammers and freed the man.

NEBRASKA

Command to honor Web site designer

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE — The U.S. Strategic Command will honor Kathy David, an Omaha woman who voluntarily designed and maintains a Web site for hospitalized military personnel.

The site was established to allow people an opportunity to purchase quality-of-life items for service members receiving medical care at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

NEW JERSEY

Sculpture foundry to close next year

HAMILTON — A nonprofit sculpture foundry with an international reputation said it will close next summer because of budget cuts.

The Johnson Atelier, which is connected to Grounds for Sculpture outside Trenton, is known for casting photorealist sculptures of everyday people. It employs 58 resident artists and has seven art students.

OHIO

Lawyer indicted for public indecency

COLUMBUS — A grand jury returned a 56-count indictment against the man police suspect is Columbus’ “naked photographer.”

Stephen Linnen, 33, is accused of accosting dozens of women from February 2002 until Nov. 19 by ambushing them in the nude and taking photos of their shocked expressions.

Mr. Linnen was charged with public indecency, gross sexual imposition and burglary. He is a former lawyer for the Ohio House Republican caucus.

PENNSYLVANIA

Firm studies rate of brain tumors

PHILADELPHIA — An international chemical company is studying the apparently high rate of brain tumors among employees at a suburban Philadelphia laboratory to see if the tumors are related to chemical exposure.

Twelve persons who work or worked in Rohm and Haas Co.’s Spring House laboratories in Montgomery County have developed brain tumors, some of them fatal. The rate is about twice the expected rate in the general population, company physicians estimate.

The study, which the chemical company started in June 2002, is scheduled to be released next month, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday.

RHODE ISLAND

Missing cat found after two months

MIDDLETOWN — The O’Connor family has its own Christmas miracle: Its cat that had been missing for two months was found clear across the country.

Jefferson, a 5-year-old orange tabby, somehow escaped from his carrier as he was being loaded onto a Delta Air Lines flight at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The cat was flying with his kin, McKinley, to the East Coast, while the O’Connors were driving.

Delta crews and the family spent four nights scouring the airport. Later, workers checked animal hospitals and shelters, distributed fliers and took out newspaper ads.

Around mid-October, a woman spotted Jefferson in a tree near the airport, but the cat’s collar came off when she tried to grab him. On Dec. 15, a daughter of a Delta Air Cargo manager told the O’Connors that Jefferson had turned up in a house basement near the airport.

A veterinarian confirmed the cat’s identity through an implanted microchip. Delta flew Jefferson, who had lost about 40 percent of his 13-pound body weight, to Rhode Island.

TENNESSEE

TVA plans to sell office towers

KNOXVILLE — The Tennessee Valley Authority is looking for a buyer for the two office towers of its downtown headquarters as the federal utility tries to dispose of surplus property.

TVA wants to sell both towers and lease one back for its use. Another option is to lease one of the towers to tenants and retain ownership of the other tower, TVA spokesman John Moulton said.

TVA has been seeking tenants to lease or buy the East Tower but hasn’t made a sale. TVA also intends to auction 11 acres of land tomorrow in Johnson City, a plan that has caused an uproar among city officials, historians and environmentalists.

Some people want the land protected because it was once part of a 2,300-acre farm owned by Robert Young, a local Revolutionary War hero, and it contains five American beech trees.

TEXAS

6 killed in crash involving 3 vehicles

BENBROOK — One car struck another on a four-lane highway and knocked it into the path of a sport utility vehicle in the opposite lanes, killing six persons and injuring three.

The cause of the Saturday night accident was under investigation and no charges had been filed, police said yesterday.

Four persons were killed in a Lincoln that was forced into oncoming traffic by a Chrysler, and two persons were killed in the SUV that the Lincoln struck, Benbrook Fire Capt. George Barnhart said.

The driver of the Chrysler and two persons in the SUV were injured. Rescue crews had to work into yesterday morning.

“They were overwhelmed, to say the least, that there were that many individuals” killed, Fire Chief Tommy Davis said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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