- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 18, 2003

FLORIDA

‘Toughman’ fight kills woman

SARASOTA — A woman died yesterday after being pummeled in a Toughman amateur boxing bout, and police opened an investigation into the fight.

“We are trying to determine the criminality of it,” police spokesman Jay Frank said.

Stacy Young, 30, suffered swelling and bleeding in the brain during Saturday night’s bout with anther woman. She was disconnected from life support yesterday afternoon after being declared brain dead Monday night at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Bayfront spokesman Bill Hervey said.

HAWAII

Four die in helicopter crash

VOLCANO — A sightseeing helicopter flying over an active lava flow from Kilauea Volcano crashed into rugged terrain on Sunday morning, killing the pilot and all three passengers.

The pilot of the Hughes 500 reported engine problems before the helicopter fell straight down Sunday and “pancaked” into an old lava flow, said Tweet Coleman, the Federal Aviation Administration’s Pacific representative.

The helicopter, owned by Tropical Helicopters, was on a tour of the Kilauea eruption. The bodies of the victims were recovered on Sunday as rescue personnel conducted an investigation at the crash scene on the Big Island.

ALABAMA

Lawmakers approve voting by ex-convicts

MONTGOMERY — The Legislature ended a decade-long impasse and agreed to restore the voting rights of former prisoners and to require voters to show IDs at the polls.

The bills now go to Republican Gov. Bob Riley. He supports voter ID but hasn’t said what he will do on felon voting rights.

ALASKA

Man, 89, shot in home invasion

ANCHORAGE — An 89-year-old man was shot in the chest with a pellet gun and pistol-whipped during the weekend while trying to fight off an intruder who burst into his home, police said.

Tony Bordenelli survived his injuries, but he and his wife, Patty, say the robbery is not something they will forget.

The couple have a 7-month-old girl, named Princess. Patty, who said she is in her 40s, said she hid in a bedroom closet with the baby during the attack.

The intruder reportedly stole $650 out of Mr. Bordenelli’s pants pocket, which he had just withdrawn from the bank to pay bills, he told the Anchorage Daily News.

ARIZONA

County debates conservation plan

TUCSON — Pima County officials are seeking ways to finance an ambitious desert-conservation plan that would protect 1 million acres for imperiled species.

One suggestion is a $250 million bond election, but county supervisors are divided on the recommendation.

CALIFORNIA

Air Force One making last journey

SAN BERNARDINO — The Boeing 707 that ferried seven U.S. presidents over a million miles as Air Force One makes one last journey this week — on the ground.

The jet will travel 120 miles in pieces by truck to its final roost, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

The largest portions, fuselage and wings, will be moved Friday to Simi Valley from San Bernardino International Airport, where the plane was welcomed in September 2001 after its final flight. Boeing Co. aircraft crews disassembled the plane in a San Bernardino hangar.

The aircraft, 153 feet long with a wingspan of nearly 146 feet, will be reassembled at the hilltop library site in a new presidential-transportation pavilion that will open next year.

ILLINOIS

AMA endorses cloning for research

CHICAGO — The American Medical Association yesterday issued a report that endorsed cloning for research purposes, saying it is medically ethical, but allowing doctors who oppose the practice to refuse to perform it.

Policy-making delegates adopted the measure without debate after discussing the issue on Sunday.

“It makes a stance for science,” said Dr. Michael Goldrich, incoming chairman of the committee that drafted the cloning report.

The proposal focused on a laboratory procedure designed to create embryos to cultivate their stem cells, which are master cells that potentially can grow into any type of human tissue. Scientists say such cells potentially could be used to treat a wide range of human diseases.

MASSACHUSETTS

Virgin Mary image seen at hospital

BOSTON — A Massachusetts hospital has asked the Catholic Church for help after being swamped by thousands of pilgrims seeking a glimpse of what they say is a shimmering image of the Virgin Mary, officials said yesterday.

Some 25,000 people flocked to Milton Hospital over the weekend to gaze up at a window in a medical office building where believers say the mother of Jesus Christ has appeared, hospital spokeswoman Susan Schepici said. The hospital has asked pilgrims to limit their viewing hours to between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., Miss Schepici said.

She confirmed that hospital officials asked the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston for “guidance” on how to deal with the apparition and the ensuing crowds.

The Boston Globe reported yesterday that hospital officials said the image is made by a chemical deposit inside the window, but Miss Schepici said the hospital has “no official position with respect to the issue of an apparition.”

MICHIGAN

Crowd riots after police chase

BENTON HARBOR — A motorcyclist being chased by police for speeding died in a crash, and the following night several police officers were hit with bricks and bottles and three police vehicles were damaged.

Police said gunshots were fired during the three-hour conflict that ended about 2 a.m. yesterday. Police said they did not shoot. There were no reports of injuries.

The violence followed the death 24 hours earlier of Terrance Shurn, 28, who lost control of his speeding motorcycle before it crashed while being chased by a Benton Township officer. Police said he was dead at the scene.

MISSOURI

Woman speaks again after throat surgery

ST. LOUIS — Amy Hancock’s first words were “Thank you.”

Miss Hancock, 26, discovered Monday that she can speak again after surgery last month to restore a voice she hasn’t had since losing her larynx to cancer five years ago. Doctors made a patch of skin into a breathing tube during the operation.

The first words she uttered Monday at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Center for Advanced Medicine were “Thank you, thank you, thank you” to the surgeon who performed the operation.

Miss Hancock’s voice was low and raspy, but her words were clear. Before, Miss Hancock had to use an electrolarynx, a device that produces vibrations, to speak.

NEBRASKA

Church gives fathers royal treatment

GRAND ISLAND — Relax, recline — and pray.

Some worshippers at Evangelical Free Church didn’t have to kneel at Sunday’s services. They instead sat back in special seats of their own — rocking armchairs.

The royal treatment didn’t stop there. They also enjoyed pop, coffee or water and were given TV remote-controls to hold so they would feel at home.

It was all part of the church’s way of honoring fathers in the congregation on Father’s Day, said the Rev. Gary Schulte, an associate pastor.

Among those chosen to sit in the chairs were the oldest and youngest dads in attendance, those who coached numerous sports, and the father who most recently changed a diaper.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Letters urge stamp for state’s ‘Old Man’

SALEM — U.S. Rep. Charles Bass, New Hampshire Republican, and schoolchildren hand-delivered 500 letters urging the Postal Service to re-issue a stamp depicting the Old Man of the Mountain.

New Hampshire lost its state symbol when the granite profile fell from Cannon Mountain last month.

The service issued Old Man of the Mountain stamps in 1955 and 1988.

NEW JERSEY

Mother admits helping teen robbers

TOMS RIVER — The mother of two teenage girls accused of robbing a bank last year has admitted her role in the crime, saying she drove the twin sisters to the bank and knew they had a toy gun.

Kathleen Wortman Jones pleaded guilty Monday to armed robbery and using a juvenile to commit a criminal offense. Prosecutors said the family staged the Oct. 29 robbery at the Sun National Bank branch so they could make a mortgage payment on their home.

Jones, 36, faces up to 30 years in prison when she is sentenced Aug. 15.

Jones said she drove her oldest daughter and one of the then-14-year-old twins to the bank, but the older girl backed out and Jones returned later that day with both twins. The girls are accused of stealing about $3,050.

The twins, now 15, are charged with armed robbery, theft and weapons offenses and are being held in a youth-detention center. Their now-17-year-old sister received probation.

NEW MEXICO

Najavos confront syphilis outbreak

GALLUP — Dr. Jonathan Iralu shakes his head in frustration, recalling the week that four Navajo patients showed up at his hospital and left with the same alarming diagnosis: syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease all but vanquished on the reservation years ago.

Worried that a health crisis was taking shape, Dr. Iralu pushed to get out the word, issuing a plea rarely heard in a culture normally taciturn about sex.

Dr. Iralu’s call to the chief executive of the government-run Gallup Indian Medical Center in February set in motion an STD public-awareness campaign to educate the roughly 200,000 Navajos on the vast reservation, which reaches into New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

The campaign included a full-page ad in the Navajo Times newspaper in March. Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. was pictured next to a message encouraging fellow tribal members to use condoms and get tested. Condom-filled “safe-sex kits” are now offered every Thursday at the Class Act nightclub near the reservation.

NEW YORK

Guards indicted in ‘surreal’ theft

NEW YORK — Four prison guards were indicted yesterday for one of New York’s more-surreal crimes — the theft of a Salvador Dali painting from the entrance of a high-security jail.

The untitled painting by the celebrated Spanish surrealist was discovered missing on March 1 after a rare fire drill at Rikers Island jail.

Authorities said the original, which has not yet been found, was replaced by a copy stapled to the back of the double-locked display case near the entrance. Mr. Dali donated the work in 1965 when illness prevented him from making a promised visit to talk to inmates.

The prosecutor said four guards were indicted by a grand jury on charges of second-degree grand larceny. They are two assistant deputy wardens, Benny Nuzzo, 49, and Mitchell Hochhauser, 40; and two corrections officers, Greg Sokol, 38, and Timothy Pina, 44.

OREGON

Death-row inmate denied transplant

PORTLAND — Oregon has denied a kidney transplant to a death-row inmate in the hopes of ending a statewide debate about how best to keep him alive until he is executed, state officials said Monday.

Horacio Reyes-Camarena, a convicted killer, set off a furious debate last month by telling reporters he qualified for the transplant. Residents around the state, angry about deep budget cuts that are making it difficult for Oregon to pay for education and health care, weighed in on whether a man sentenced to die should be allowed the $100,000 surgery.

Steven Shelton, medical director at Oregon Department of Corrections, and health officials said they denied the inmate the kidney because he did not meet all the criteria established by the state, which range from mental health to drug use to prison behavior. The specific reasons why Reyes-Camarena, who undergoes dialysis treatments, was denied were not disclosed.

RHODE ISLAND

Guard resumes graveside taps

PROVIDENCE — The commander of the Rhode Island National Guard said he has resumed supplying buglers to play taps at graveside services for veterans. The program was eliminated in early April due to budget cuts.

The live performance was replaced by a boom-box recording.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Closed armories benefit cities

COLUMBIA — Budget cuts forced the South Carolina National Guard to close six armories this year.

Some say the closings are good news because the state is giving the buildings to local governments. The armory in Winnsboro will be turned into a 911 call center and emergency-operations headquarters.

TENNESSEE

Store manager charged with arson

MEMPHIS — A Family Dollar store manager was charged yesterday with setting fire at his discount store that killed two Memphis firefighters.

Anthony Paul Shaw, 21, of Memphis was charged by federal prosecutors with starting a fire in which death occurred. Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrell Harris said Mr. Shaw, who was one of several managers at the store, ignited the blaze Sunday night to cover up the theft of several thousand dollars.

Two firefighters, Lt. Trent Kirk and Pvt. Charles Zachary, died when the roof of the store collapsed as they braved flames and smoke to make sure no one was trapped inside.

TEXAS

Reputed Klansman gets life sentence

FORT WORTH — A reputed Klansman was sentenced to life without parole yesterday in the 1966 slaying of a black sharecropper who was shot in what prosecutors say was a plot to lure Martin Luther King to Mississippi to be assassinated.

Ernest Avants, a 72-year-old stroke victim who suffers from congestive heart failure, was convicted in Mississippi in January. But because of his failing health, he was sentenced at the Fort Worth Medical Center.

U.S. District Judge William Barbour said he imposed the maximum because Avants showed no remorse.

Prosecutors said Avants and two white companions offered 67-year-old Chester White $2 and a soda to help them with a chore. White, who had no connection to the civil-rights movement, was driven to a national forest, shot to death and dumped in a creek bed.

WASHINGTON

University OKs tuition increase

PULLMAN — The Washington State University Board of Regents approved 7 percent tuition increases for undergraduates in each of the next two years.

Tuition will increase to $4,435 next year and to $4,745 for 2004-05 for state residents. Officials cited insufficient state support.

WISCONSIN

Judge orders state to move sex offender

MILWAUKEE — A judge ordered the state to relocate a recently released child molester who had been placed in a home not far from a shelter for sexually abused children.

On Monday, Circuit Judge John Franke ordered the state to “immediately search for a more appropriate placement” for Billy Lee Morford.

The state Department of Health and Family Services placed Mr. Morford in a house less than 100 feet from a shelter for sexually abused children that is also licensed by the state agency. The move had created an uproar in the neighborhood.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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