- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 12, 2003

ALABAMA

Civil rights pioneers mark 1963 showdown

TUSCALOOSA — Forty years ago, Vivian Malone Jones walked past Gov. George C. Wallace and into history when she helped integrate the University of Alabama. She forgives him, she said, but she will never forget.

“What he did will be with us forever,” Mrs. Jones, 60, said of Mr. Wallace’s “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door.”

She said Tuesday at a forum commemorating the 40th anniversary of the event that Mr. Wallace later apologized to her for blocking the doors of Foster Auditorium on June 11, 1963.

James Hood, the second black student to enroll at Alabama with Mrs. Jones that day, who said he has also forgiven Mr. Wallace, pointed out that Mr. Wallace actually helped the push for civil rights.

“We got the 1964 Civil Rights Act as a result of George Wallace’s antics on this campus. It never would have happened had he not chosen that strategy,” Mr. Hood said.

UTAH

Polygamist released from prison

SALT LAKE CITY — A polygamist was freed from prison after serving four years of a possible 10-year sentence for incest with his underage niece, who testified she was forced to become his 15th wife.

The state parole board’s decision to release David Ortell Kingston on Tuesday rather than parole him means the prison has no responsibility to follow up on him.

Mr. Kingston was an accountant for the Latter Day Church of Christ, a secretive polygamous sect believed to have about 1,000 members and a $150 million business network in six Western states. Religious beliefs include marriages of men to close relatives.

Mr. Kingston’s 16-year-old wife was the daughter of his brother John Daniel Kingston, who was sentenced to seven months in jail for beating the girl after she attempted to flee the marriage. Another Kingston brother Paul is the church leader.

COLORADO

Evidence suggests an attack by mountain lion

FORT COLLINS — A toddler missing for 3 years whose tattered clothes were discovered last week was probably attacked by a mountain lion, authorities said.

Three-year-old Jaryd Atadero vanished on Oct. 2, 1999, while on a hiking trip with a church group. He had been running ahead so he could find hiding places and say “Boo.”

Jaryd’s fleece pullover, tattered pants and shoes were found June 5 in the Comanche Peak Wilderness Area, several hundred feet above the trail where he disappeared, Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden said.

No remains have been found, but Sheriff Alderden said search teams will return to the site Saturday.

CONNECTICUT

Man pleads guilty in wife’s death

BRIDGEPORT — An 89-year-old man who suffocated his ailing, 85-year-old wife in what he said was an effort to end her misery pleaded guilty yesterday to manslaughter and will not have to go to prison.

Morris Meyer, who is in a wheelchair, received a three-year suspended sentence and must spend that time at the nursing home where he lived with his wife.

Meyer told police that Cornelia Meyer, his wife of 63 years, had begged him to help end her pain. She died March 24.

GEORGIA

Morehouse student found guilty of assault

ATLANTA — A jury found a 19-year-old man guilty yesterday in the baseball bat beating of a fellow Morehouse College student in a dorm shower, but acquitted him of violating Georgia’s new hate-crime law.

Aaron Price, who said he thought Gregory Love was making a sexual advance toward him by looking into his shower stall, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for one count each of aggravated battery and aggravated assault. He faced up to 40 years in prison.

“I take responsibility for my actions,” Price said. “I apologize to the court, to you [the judge] and Mr. Love.”

His attorney said he would appeal.

“I would like Mr. Price to know that as a fellow Christian I forgive him,” said Mr. Love, who suffered a fractured skull and still has a long scar on his head.

The beating evoked strong emotions at the historically black college, where some homosexual students say homophobia is rampant. The incident prompted administrators to set up discussion sessions promoting diversity.

IOWA

Court revives lawsuit over ‘Satan’ remark

DES MOINES — The Iowa Supreme Court yesterday revived a defamation lawsuit brought by a woman who was offended when a church official wrote a letter warning that “the spirit of Satan” was at work in her congregation.

The seven-member court unanimously said that it was extremely reluctant to intervene in internal church disputes, but that in this case the letter had been circulated outside the congregation, and a trial is needed to resolve the matter. A lower court had thrown out the case.

The case involves a Methodist church in Shell Rock and an internal dispute that drew the attention of church officials. The Rev. Jerrold Swinton, then a district supervisor for the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church, attended services at the church and heard comments about the dispute, which centered on differing views about the church pastor.

KANSAS

Victim’s father named victims’ rights liaison

TOPEKA — Gene Schmidt, who fought for tougher sexual-predator laws after the 1993 death of his daughter, will become the state’s victims’ rights coordinator, Attorney General Phill Kline said.

Mr. Schmidt will act as a liaison between victims and Mr. Kline’s office. He starts July 1, the 10th anniversary of his daughter Stephanie’s rape and murder.

MICHIGAN

Woman impaled on microphone stand

GREEN OAK TOWNSHIP — A woman 8 months pregnant fell from a loft in her home when she became dizzy yesterday and was impaled on a microphone stand, police said.

The 34-year-old woman was taken to the University of Michigan Hospital, where she was in serious condition, hospital spokeswoman Carolyn Mogan said. The condition of her unborn child was not released.

The woman was impaled in the upper chest, the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus of Howell reported.

She called 911 for help, the newspaper said. After she hung up, her 6-year-old son called back to help guide emergency personnel to the home, about 40 miles west of Detroit.

MISSISSIPPI

Clothing plant to close because of competition

STARKVILLE — Garan Manufacturing’s clothing plant will close in August and cut 182 jobs.

The company will continue to operate its sample center and general office, where 158 persons work, Mayor Mack Rutledge said.

Company officials said they are closing the fabric plant because American workers can’t compete with cheaper labor in Central America.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Panel to probe prison breakout

CONCORD — A legislative inquiry will examine last week’s prison escape to review staffing and conduct during the breakout.

A lack of officers monitoring the inmates made the escape possible, according to a corrections union official.

Three prisoners escaped from a work yard, where two officers supervised 23 inmates, a Corrections Department spokesman said.

NEW JERSEY

Offensive comment proves costly

NEW BRUNSWICK — A woman’s decision to write an offensive comment on her check when she paid a parking ticket has proven costly: She had to pay an additional $100 fine for contempt of court.

Eva Sas, 24, made an anatomical reference in the memo portion of the $22 check she mailed to the New Brunswick Municipal Court. She received the contempt summons last month after Ralph Stanzione, the city’s chief judge, refused to accept her check.

A 1999 directive from the state judiciary, which oversees municipal courts, prohibits judges from penalizing citizens for writing obscene comments. Court officials would not comment on why the order was not followed in this case.

NEW MEXICO

Prosecutor convicted of drunken driving

CARRIZOZO — The Texas district attorney who prosecuted many of the now-discredited 1999 Tulia drug arrests was found guilty of drunken driving and sentenced to two days in jail.

The verdict Tuesday in a New Mexico court brings into question the professional future of District Attorney Terry McEachern, officials said.

“I’m sure it would probably be best if he stepped down,” Swisher County Commissioner Billy Settle told the Lubbock (Texas) Avalanche-Journal. Mr. McEachern’s office covers three west Texas counties: Swisher, Hale and Castro.

Mr. McEachern, who has denied wrongdoing in the racially charged Tulia drug cases, was stopped on suspicion of drunken driving on Nov. 27.

NEW YORK

Times’ Pulitzer being reviewed

NEW YORK — Pulitzer officials will review its 1932 prize to a New York Times reporter who denied the existence of a Stalin-era famine that killed 10 million Ukrainians, a source said yesterday.

“Like any significant complaint, we take them seriously,” Pulitzer Prize Administrator Sig Gissler said in a statement.

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America began a campaign to have the prize revoked on the 70th anniversary of what the group calls a “famine-genocide.” They said Times reporter Walter Duranty defended Soviet leader Josef Stalin from accusations his economic policies led to the deaths of millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s.

In the Aug. 24, 1933, edition of the New York Times Mr. Duranty “claimed ‘any report of a famine is today an exaggeration of malignant propaganda,’” according to the Ukrainian group.

NORTH CAROLINA

Army investigates colonel’s online proposals

FORT BRAGG — Army commanders said yesterday they are investigating complaints that a colonel proposed to dozens of women in the United States and Canada after meeting them through Internet dating services.

Some of the women compiled a list of more than 50 women to whom Col. Kassem Saleh proposed, the New York Times reported yesterday.

Col. Saleh, 50, is already married, the women said. They want him punished but it’s not clear that such behavior would violate either criminal law or military regulations.

Sarah Calder, 33, of Calais, Maine, said some of the women had received engagement rings and had planned weddings.

OHIO

Court rules jurors can question witnesses

COLUMBUS — Trial courts can let jurors question witnesses, the Ohio Supreme Court said yesterday in a unanimous ruling.

A trial judge may accept written questions from jurors and pass them on to witnesses, without infringing on defendants’ rights, the high court said.

“The practice of allowing jurors to question witnesses provides for a two-way communication through which jurors can more effectively fulfill their fundamental role as fact-finders,” wrote Chief Justice Thomas Moyer.

Yesterday’s ruling came in a case in which a man was found guilty of assault after jurors were allowed to ask witnesses more than a dozen questions.

OREGON

Cops say woman killed by homeless gang

PORTLAND — Police raided downtown homeless shelters and arrested 11 persons in the death of a mentally disabled woman whose body was found beside railroad tracks last month, police said.

Jessica Kate Williams, 22, belonged to the same “street family” as those arrested Tuesday, police said. Miss Williams, who was born with fetal alcohol syndrome and had the mental capacity of a 12-year-old, was killed because she violated the family’s code, Portland police spokesman Sgt. Brian Schmautz said.

A train engineer found Miss Williams’ body beside the railroad tracks on May 23. She had been stabbed and bludgeoned to death, an autopsy concluded.

PENNSYLVANIA

Police say fifth-grader planned school attack

WELLSBORO — A fifth-grader who committed suicide in a school restroom had planned an assault on the school but killed himself after his friends wouldn’t go along with the plan, police said.

Borough Police Chief Thomas Young said Tuesday that the 12-year-old had fantasized openly for months about “taking over the school,” but his friends didn’t take him seriously.

On June 4, the boy took three rifles, two shotguns and two handguns from his father’s gun cabinet and stashed them in a large duffel bag. The school does not have metal detectors, and students were allowed to bring large bags that day because of a planned trip to a swimming pool.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Message in bottle leads to pen pal

SULLIVANS ISLAND — Addie Devine, an 8-year-old who lives in Cumberland, Maine, found a pen pal after she put a message in a bottle and tossed it into the sea along the Maine coast last summer.

Mike Rumph found the corked wine bottle last month in mud behind his Sullivans Island house and found two notes inside.

The second note was from Kristine and Charlie Perry of Jacksonville, Fla., who found the bottle last August as they were boating near Deer Island off the Maine coast. Both notes asked whoever found the bottle to write. The Perrys tossed the bottle overboard about three miles off the South Carolina coast Sept. 15.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Water seeping into old mine

LEAD — Workers began turning off pumps that have kept water from filling the former Homestake gold mine, a move opposed by scientists who want to turn the vast underground complex into a physics laboratory.

Gov. Mike Rounds said the decision by owner Barrick Corp. to begin the two-day process Tuesday of turning off the pumps will not jeopardize plans for the mine, which is as much as 8,000 feet deep in the Black Hills of western South Dakota.

TEXAS

Cuban musician defects in south Texas

BROWNSVILLE — After a concert in Mexico, a popular Cuban musician defected by grabbing a cab to the border and walking onto American soil.

Carlos Manuel Pruneda, of the band “Carlos Manuel and His Clan,” was granted asylum Tuesday after crossing the border late Sunday or Monday, said Art Moreno, a spokesman for the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration.

Mr. Pruneda said he left Cuba to find personal and artistic freedom.

After a weekend concert in Mexico City, Mr. Pruneda flew to Monterrey, then took a cab to Matamoros and walked across the border into Brownsville. Mr. Pruneda was accompanied by six other persons, including his mother, a cousin and some sound engineers.

WEST VIRGINIA

Officials postpone pipeline decision

CHARLESTON — Officials with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have agreed to take more time before deciding whether to hold another hearing on the proposed Greenbrier Pipeline project.

The project, which was approved by the FERC in April, is a partnership between Dominion and Piedmont Natural Gas. Dominion’s plans call for building a 279-mile-long, 30-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline from Kanawha County to North Carolina.

Some concerned residents have asked for a rehearing on the project. The extension will allow “additional time for consideration of the matters raised or to be raised,” according to an order dated June 9.

WISCONSIN

Bible distributor kicked off bus

MILWAUKEE — A woman has filed a lawsuit against Milwaukee’s transit system, claiming her free-speech rights were violated when a bus driver refused to let her give Bibles to other riders.

Gail Anderson, 56, filed a lawsuit this week in federal court in Milwaukee seeking to overturn the transit system’s distribution ban on advertising and literature. The complaint also requests an unspecified amount in damages.

According to the lawsuit, Miss Anderson was on a bus last summer when she offered Bibles to fellow passengers seated near her. The driver asked her to stop distributing the books, then ordered her off the bus when she refused.

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