- The Washington Times - Friday, June 27, 2003

ARKANSAS

Clinton papers added to archive

LITTLE ROCK — Former President Bill Clinton donated his gubernatorial papers to the state’s historical archives, saying the public collection will be a critical resource for historians.

The Clinton papers, along with those of four other former governors, will go into a new Gubernatorial Studies Institute, planned for a building adjacent to the city library.

The downtown location is four blocks from the Clinton Presidential Library, scheduled to open next year.

Mr. Clinton said Wednesday he hopes the documents provide information about his policy decisions and also enable researchers to develop a deeper understanding of state history.

TENNESSEE

Tot dies aboard day care van

MEMPHIS — State day care rules were violated by at least three persons in charge of a toddler who died after being left inside a sweltering van for four hours, officials said yesterday.

No one has been charged in the death of 2-year-old Amber Cox-Cody, who was apparently forgotten by workers for Children’s Rainbow Learning Center on Wednesday morning.

She was found still strapped in her car seat by a driver preparing for an afternoon run. Temperatures had risen into the 90s during the day, and probably reached 120 to 140 degrees inside the van, meteorologist Bob Smerbeck said.

The center was closed voluntarily during the investigation.

State regulations require three employees — the driver, a monitor and the day care center operator — to check vehicles to make sure no children are left inside.

CALIFORNIA

Judge delays Peterson hearing

MODESTO — A judge yesterday delayed next month’s preliminary hearing of Scott Peterson until September, putting off the date when prosecutors have to reveal the evidence they say links the 30-year-old salesman to the murder of his wife and unborn son.

Judge Al Girolami also upheld his gag order on attorneys in the case and sealed a search warrant for Mr. Peterson’s cellular-phone records. The preliminary hearing for the fertilizer salesman accused of two murders is now set for Sept. 9.

COLORADO

Fisherman hooks stolen bank bag

SUPERIOR — An 11-year-old fisherman reeled in a big catch that had nothing to do with the crayfish he was hunting.

Devonte Martinez hooked a stolen bank bag holding nearly $2,000 in soaked checks written to the Imagine Foundation charity. He noticed two other bank bags in Coal Creek and reeled them in, too. They were empty.

The June 9 catch was taken to Boulder County authorities, who said the bags had been stolen the night before from a Boulder restaurant where Imagine had held a fund-raiser. The thief apparently took the cash — about $2,600 — and threw away the rest.

FLORIDA

Freighter grounded off Fort Lauderdale

FORT LAUDERDALE — A freighter carrying cement grounded yesterday morning about 1 miles off the coast, Coast Guard officials said. No spillage or water pollution was immediately detected.

Coast Guard officers were inspecting the 584-foot Malaysian ship, and a salvage company was set to tow it later in the day if it did not float loose during high tide.

Petty Officer Carleen Drummond did not know where the ship was headed or who operated it.

GEORGIA

CDC says 29 persons have monkeypox

ATLANTA — Infection of the monkeypox virus has been confirmed in 29 persons, federal officials reported yesterday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said lab testing indicated 29 of the country’s 79 suspected cases had the virus, which is a cousin of smallpox.

Monkeypox is a West African disease never before seen in the Western Hemisphere. As of Wednesday, 14 confirmed cases had been confirmed in Wisconsin, seven in Indiana and six in Illinois. One case each was confirmed in Kansas and Missouri.

The virus causes rashes, chills and fever, and more than half of the cases were hospitalized. Most (69 percent) involved adults; the median age was 28.

ILLINOIS

Three persons killed in helicopter crash

COLETA — A helicopter crashed in a northwestern Illinois cornfield Wednesday, killing two men and a 12-year-old girl, police said.

The aircraft crashed nose-first just north of Coleta, about 110 miles west of Chicago, Sheriff Roger Schipper said. Witnesses said the helicopter appeared to lose power at about 1,000 feet.

The victims were identified as Thomas Berg, 43, and his daughter, Chelsey, 12, both of Mukwongago, Wis., and Michael Siegler, 27, of Lake Geneva, Wis.

INDIANA

Residents remember last public lynching

MARION — For more than seven decades, hardly anyone in Marion has talked about what happened one hot August night, despite an infamous photo showing two black teenagers hanging from a tree near the jail.

This week, though, a handful gathered to mull over Indiana’s last public lynching — “a central event in our community — like it or not,” as Marion High School history teacher Bill Munn put it.

Bringing the event to light in the town where it happened in 1930 has been Mr. Munn’s project for several years, and he hosted two discussions at the library this week.

On Wednesday the focus was the book “A Lynching in the Heartland,” by Indiana University history Professor James Madison. The night before, Mr. Munn screened a documentary that first aired in 1998 and showed the photograph of a crowd gathered around the hanging bodies.

The teenagers, Abe Smith and Tom Shipp, were accused of shooting and killing a white man.

KENTUCKY

Priest convicted of abusing brothers

SHEPHERDSVILLE — A Roman Catholic priest was found guilty yesterday of molesting two young brothers from a family he had befriended.

The Rev. Daniel Clark, convicted on two counts of sexual abuse, had pleaded guilty in a similar case 15 years earlier but was allowed to remain a priest.

The jury yesterday recommended the maximum of five years in prison on each count, to be served consecutively.

The victims, now 12 and 13, testified that they were abused by Clark in their home and on outings with the priest. Prosecutors said the molestation took place over a four-year period ending in 2002.

The boy’s mother had known the priest since childhood, and Clark was a regular visitor to the home. He also helped the family financially.

MASSACHUSETTS

Maternity retailer sued for pregnancy firing

BOSTON — A former employee is suing a maternity clothing store, saying she was fired from her job as district manager for being pregnant.

Mothers Work Inc. yesterday denied the accusations leveled by Cynthia Papageorge, who said she loved her job at the retailer until she got pregnant in 1999 and a vice president belittled her.

She said the vice president tried to have her fired shortly thereafter, ordering her boss to get rid of her while she was on maternity leave.

When the boss, Jan Dowe, refused to fire her, the vice president fired her boss. She eventually was fired, and she also accused the Philadelphia-based company of firing at least two other pregnant women.

MINNESOTA

Girl survives lightning strike

BARRETT — A 7-year-old girl is recovering after getting struck by lightning during a thunderstorm.

Kayla White suffered scattered burns on her back and right shoulder after lightning struck her family’s home Monday. When the afternoon sky suddenly blackened, Kayla’s mother warned her children to get away from electrical outlets. A second later, lightning struck the home.

Except for burns and frazzled nerves, Kayla emerged unscathed.

MISSISSIPPI

Congressman considers leaving politics

JACKSON — Rep. Charles W. “Chip” Pickering Jr. is considering leaving Congress for a job with a telecommunications trade group in Washington. Mr. Pickering, a Republican, has been in Congress since 1997.

The top job at the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association will be open at the end of the year when President Thomas Wheeler leaves. It is not clear whether Mr. Pickering has been offered the job.

NEW JERSEY

Radio campaign targets aggressive drivers

TRENTON — The state Transportation Department has begun a radio ad campaign to promote its “Pound 77” cellular phone hot line for reporting aggressive drivers.

The $180,000 campaign will feature 10-second spots promoting the hot-line number — the pound key followed by 77.

Since the hot line went into effect in May, reports of aggressive driving have risen from about 100 to 600 per day.

NEW MEXICO

Fire contained in Rio Grande forest

ALBUQUERQUE — Firefighters yesterday contained a suspected arson fire that charred about 800 forested acres along the Rio Grande and forced people to evacuate dozens of homes near the heart of Albuquerque.

Helicopters were still dropping water on smoldering trees and brush in the area yesterday, but some evacuees were being let back into their homes.

The fire began Wednesday night five miles northwest of downtown. Yesterday, firefighters had it contained but not controlled, said Albuquerque fire Lt. Lynn Reule.

Mayor Martin Chavez said evidence suggests the wind-driven blaze was not merely a flare-up of a fire that broke out a day earlier about a mile to the south.

“It has more than one point of origin, which is suggestive of arson,” Mr. Chavez said. Authorities were seeking an adult who might have set the blaze, he said.

NEW YORK

Company charged in money-laundering case

NEW YORK — A company has been indicted on charges of sending billions of dollars overseas to help hide money for clients that included drug dealers and possibly terrorists, prosecutors said yesterday.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said Beacon Hill Service Corp. illegally sent money abroad for individuals, shell companies and South American currency exchanges.

During 2001 and 2002, Mr. Morgenthau said, wire transfers from just four of Beacon Hill’s 40 accounts totaled more than $3.2 billion.

“The money came from drug dealers and tax evaders, and some of the money was going to the Middle East,” he said.

Beacon Hill, in business in midtown Manhattan since 1994, shut down on Feb. 4, Mr. Morgenthau said. He said he has begun a court action to seize Beacon Hill’s assets and has frozen more than $13 million Beacon Hill had when it closed. No Beacon Hill employee was charged.

NORTH CAROLINA

Judge allows reporters to protect sources

DURHAM — A judge ruled that attorneys for a novelist accused of killing his wife can’t demand reporters reveal their sources in an effort to find out if detectives lied in court.

Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson on Wednesday dismissed subpoenas seeking to force two TV stations and a newspaper to disclose notes and tapes that might indicate whether the officers leaked information about their investigation and then denied it under oath.

The judge said there was no compelling reason to require the disclosure. Defense attorney David Rudolf said he would appeal.

Novelist Michael Peterson, 59, is charged with murdering his wife, Kathleen, in December 2001 and could face life in prison if convicted.

OHIO

Clemency granted to death-row inmate

COLUMBUS — Gov. Bob Taft granted clemency yesterday for the first time, sparing a man who took advantage of a new state law allowing DNA testing in death-row cases and proved that blood found on his tennis shoes was his own.

Jerome Campbell, whose execution had been scheduled for today, is the first condemned inmate in Ohio to receive clemency in 12 years.

The governor changed the death sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole, saying jurors may have recommended a different sentence if the new DNA evidence had been available and they had been told that two jailhouse informants had sought leniency in exchange for their testimony.

He added that his conclusion “does not diminish in any way Mr. Campbell’s responsibility for a brutal and senseless murder or the compassion I feel for Henry Turner and his family.”

Campbell, now 42, was convicted of aggravated murder for stabbing John Henry Turner, 78, at Mr. Turner’s Cincinnati apartment in 1988.

PENNSYLVANIA

Historic neighborhoods get funds for preservation

PHILADELPHIA — The National Trust for Historic Preservation is providing $1.8 million in assistance to Philadelphia that will help neighborhoods that are rich in history but struggling with blight.

The money is going to the Strawberry Mansion, Brewerytown, Belmont and Parkside neighborhoods, among other areas.

Part of the money is to be spent on identifying which buildings to preserve. Other money is to pay for lines of credit for community organizations.

TEXAS

Ex-official ordered to remain in jail

AUSTIN — Former Texas Attorney General Dan Morales was ordered to remain in jail while awaiting trial on fraud charges after a judge determined yesterday that he may have lied on two recent car loan applications.

Mr. Morales spent Wednesday night in the Travis County Jail after prosecutors said he gave conflicting information on the car applications and sworn financial statements when he asked the court to appoint a public defender. He previously had been free on a personal recognizance bond.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Blankinship said that because of massive credit card, mortgage and car loan debt, Mr. Morales was a risk to either flee or commit financial fraud to cover his debts.

Mr. Morales, 47, did not speak during the hearing. His court-appointed attorney, William Ibbotson, said he should remain free on bond to help prepare his defense in his Oct. 7 trial.

UTAH

Group’s members rack up infractions

SALT LAKE CITY — Infractions by members of a countercultural group huddling in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest are adding up.

Rainbow Family members have logged 47 incident reports, 75 warnings, 43 violations and four arrests. Law enforcement officers responded primarily to “traffic and vehicle” incidents, with drug incidents the second-largest category.

WASHINGTON

Carpenters strike after talks collapse

SEATTLE — Thousands of union carpenters in western and central Washington went on strike after the collapse of contract negotiations with the Associated General Contractors.

Picketing started Wednesday in Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellingham and other cities, said Ole Olsen, a spokesman for the Northwest regional branch of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.

An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 workers walked picket lines at roughly 125 job sites in the region, Mr. Olsen said. In all, more than 8,000 carpenters are covered by the contract, which expired May 31 but was extended twice. The union said health care costs were a particular sticking point in the talks.

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