- The Washington Times - Friday, March 21, 2003

ARKANSAS
Women wear paint in war protest
FAYETTEVILLE Wearing nothing more than masks and body paint, nine women protested the war in Iraq at a busy intersection just blocks from the University of Arkansas campus.
Calling it a "Code Pink" emergency, the bare protesters, who ranged in age from 18 to 71, stopped traffic at an intersection Wednesday while carrying a banner that read "Women of the World Say No War." The words "No War" were painted in pink on their backs. They also used the pink paint to cover their private parts.
Fayetteville police allowed the women to disrobe but quickly asked them to move out of the intersection. A police spokeswoman said that since the women were covered with body paint in the right places they were free to protest as long as they didn't block traffic.

CALIFORNIA
Smith to skip Academy Awards
LOS ANGELES Will Smith is skipping the Academy Awards in light of the U.S.-led assault on Iraq.
The "Men in Black" star, who was scheduled to be a presenter at Sunday's Oscars, didn't intend his withdrawal as a protest over military action, his publicist, Stan Rosenfield, said yesterday.
"Not in any way, shape or form," Mr. Rosenfield said. "There's no agenda, there's no speeches. He just did not feel personally comfortable in going because of the world situation."
A best-actor nominee a year ago for "Ali," Mr. Smith, 34, would have been making his fourth appearance as a presenter at the Oscars.

ALABAMA
$26 million mansion for sale
BIRMINGHAM Shelby County's most valuable residence a French Chateau-style mansion with 22 bathrooms, a movie theater and a driveway landscaped to look like a guitar is to be sold by auction early next month.
Its furnishings, including bronze statues and Persian rugs, also will go on the block April 5 and 6. There is no minimum bid.
Former MedPartners CEO Larry House spent $26 million and three years building the 27-acre Shoal Creek estate in the late 1990s. The then-wealthy businessman spared no expense. He had columns and woodwork trimmed in gold leaf. He installed floors of Italian white marble and walnut herringbone.

COLORADO
States hit by storm returning to normal
DENVER Travelers who spent two nights on couches and floors began flying out of Denver's airport yesterday as Colorado dug out of its worst blizzard in 90 years.
"I was willing to go anywhere," said Terri Weger of Sumner, Ind., who waited in line for 4 hours at Denver International Airport before getting a ticket. Flights were limited because only two of the airport's five runways were open.
The storm that began Tuesday dropped up to 7 feet of snow over a swath of nearly 500 miles, paralyzing more than 3.5 million people. At least three persons died.
Despite the clear skies and temperatures climbing into the 40s yesterday, many Colorado and Wyoming residents remained snowbound as 5- and 6-foot drifts made passage nearly impossible.

CONNECTICUT
Students disciplined for burning French flag
NEWTOWN Four students at Newtown High School said they were suspended for burning a replica of the French flag on school grounds in a protest over France's opposition to military action in Iraq.
One mother said her son was suspended for five days.
Superintendent Evan Pitkoff said only that the students were disciplined for creating a safety hazard and destroying school property.

DELAWARE
Protesters rally at courthouse
WILMINGTON About 100 people rallied yesterday to protest the U.S. war in Iraq, with authorities arresting four women who blocked the entrance to the federal courthouse.
A handful of counter-demonstrators gathered across the street, with one man waving a sign that said, "Saddam is Satan."
The anti-war protesters moved toward the courthouse at noon, carrying their own signs, including the one held by Lynn Foltz, 58, of Wilmington, that read "No Terror in My Name."
Miss Foltz also held her Chihuahua, Brio, as she explained she was frustrated the Bush administration did not listen to Americans who did not want the United States to go to war.

FLORIDA
Deliberations begin in corruption trial
MIAMI A jury began deliberating yesterday in the corruption trial of 11 elite undercover police officers accused of planting guns on suspects and lying under oath to cover up their actions.
During the 10-week trial, prosecutors contended the corruption took place at the scenes of four shootings between 1995 and 1997. Three men were killed and one was wounded.
Attorneys for the officers have denied the claims. The defense also has questioned the credibility of two key witnesses, former officers who entered plea bargains on conspiracy charges and agreed to testify against their former colleagues in hopes of keeping their pensions and getting light sentences.

GEORGIA
Health officials say flu season mild
ATLANTA Federal health experts yesterday described the 2002-2003 flu season in the United States as mild, although they noted a number of severe outbreaks had occurred among schoolchildren.
Influenza is an infectious disease marked by respiratory inflammation, fever, muscular pain and intestinal-tract irritation. It kills about 20,000 Americans and hospitalizes 114,000 every year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said data collected from state and local health authorities indicated that the flu season, which generally runs from October to April, had peaked in early February.
The CDC noted a number of flu outbreaks had been reported among schoolchildren, leading to school closures and some deaths.

IDAHO
Spud ranchers push American fries
BOISE Spud ranchers from the world's most famous potato state are jumping on the anti-french fry movement.
The Potato Growers of Idaho wants to change the name "french fries" to "American fries." The group doesn't want consumers to boycott fries because of any perceived anti-American sentiment.
"What we're saying is, consumers ought to be asking for American fries at their favorite fast-food restaurant," said Potato Growers of Idaho spokesman Keith Frank.
Since the French government refused to cooperate with American diplomacy efforts to build a United Nations coalition against Iraq, a number of restaurants throughout the nation have changed the name of french fries. Some, such as congressional cafeterias, have chosen the moniker "freedom fries."

INDIANA
Court allows partner to adopt children
INDIANAPOLIS The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Amber Crawford-Taylor can adopt her domestic partner's three children.
The court rejected a lower court ruling that both women couldn't adopt the children because they aren't married.
Miss Taylor's partner, Shannon Crawford-Taylor, adopted a boy and girl from Ethiopia and a Chinese girl in 1999.

KANSAS
Web-site postings yield criminal charge
OVERLAND PARK An Overland Park man who reportedly set up a Web site to humiliate his estranged wife was charged Wednesday with criminal defamation.
Wesley Meixelsperger faces up to a year in jail if he is convicted of intentionally placing false and damaging information on the site.
It was the first time Johnson County prosecutors had used the law, but District Attorney Paul Morrison said it was the appropriate action under the circumstances.
"We're aware of the controversial nature of the law," Mr. Morrison told the Kansas City Star. "But there was no other way to address what was done. He needs to be held accountable."

MASSACHUSETTS
Taxi jumps curb, kills man at airport
BOSTON An out-of-control taxi jumped a curb at Logan International Airport, killing a man and critically injuring a woman waiting at a cab stand.
Cab driver Mohammed Farah, 27, was charged with vehicular homicide after Wednesday night's accident.
The victims identified as Yuri Wiseman, 32, and Elizabeth Rideout, 69 were outside the Delta baggage claim area at Terminal C when they were struck and trapped underneath the cab at about 11:20 p.m., state police Lt. Paul Maloney said.
The driver had gotten out of the cab, but apparently left it in drive, Mr. Maloney said. He jumped back inside and tried to stop it, and may have hit the gas instead of the brake, he said.

MISSOURI
State Senate passes malpractice bill
JEFFERSON CITY A bill passed by the Missouri Senate would restrict the amount of money people could collect in medical-malpractice lawsuits.
The bill would impose a $350,000 cap on such noneconomic damages as pain and suffering.
Doctors have complained that increasing malpractice-insurance rates are pushing them out of business. Democratic Gov. Bob Holden says he opposes the Senate bill.

NEW MEXICO
Hospital staff exposed to mystery illness
ALBUQUERQUE As many as 15 workers at an Albuquerque hospital have been given two days off work to avoid the possible spread of a mysterious respiratory disease brought in by a patient, officials said yesterday.
The workers, mainly in the hospital's emergency and radiology departments, had contact with the patient before they suspected he had the illness called severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.
The patient remained in fair condition yesterday at Presbyterian Hospital, said spokesman Todd Sandman. He had recently returned from Hong Kong, which has been hard-hit by the flulike disease, which has spread from Asia.

NEW YORK
Man rescued from Niagara Falls
NIAGARA FALLS A 48-year-old man was rescued from the brink of Niagara Falls after spending two hours on a cliff, knee-deep in icy water.
"Hold me! Don't let me go!" he cried out to rescuers during his ordeal Wednesday. The man, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital suffering from severe hypothermia, and was in stable condition yesterday.
The man jumped or fell off Goat Island, sliding down an icy slope on the small island on the American side of the falls. He ended up 20 feet from shore and 5 feet from the falls' 170-foot drop, authorities said.

NORTH DAKOTA
Farmers check out sugar beet show
FARGO It is billed as the world's largest sugar beet show, featuring more than $3 million worth of equipment and 100,000 square feet of exhibits. But organizers say no idea is too small for beet growers.
One of the most popular features at the International Sugar Beet Institute is the grower-idea contest, where farmers offer common-sense suggestions to nagging problems. Prizes are given to the winners, but all the tips are distributed.
"A lot of things may seem very simple to one person," said Mohammed Khan, a North Dakota State University researcher and chairman of the nonprofit institute. "But another person may not even think of the idea."
About 4,000 growers were expected to attend the show Wednesday and yesterday at the Fargodome.

OHIO
School shuts to stop fighting
LORAIN Unruliness among Lorain Middle School students has escalated to the point that the principal canceled school yesterday so staff could troubleshoot the problem, the Plain Dealer reports.
"This is not a blame game," Principal Christine Pankey said. "Everyone, including the school, parents and the community, needs to come together."
Student fighting and disobedience have occurred periodically since September, but the troubles have worsened in the last month, said Michael Failing, a district resource officer.
Police have arrested 40 students in three weeks for fighting and other misbehavior.

OKLAHOMA
Emmy winner dies at 49
TULSA Kathy Harper, an Emmy winner who co-founded the Narrative Television Network, died Tuesday. She was 49. The cause of death was not immediately released.
Miss Harper co-founded Narrative Television Network in 1988. The network makes television programs, movies and live performances accessible to blind or visually impaired people by narrating story points that have no dialogue.
In 1991, she won an Emmy for outstanding achievement in engineering development of television for the visually impaired. She also won a Media Access Award, an International Film and Video Award and a Golden Georgi from the Writers Foundation of America.

OREGON
Salmon proponents decry water plan
PORTLAND An Oregon coast community's attempt to tap more stream water for potential growth has come under attack from opponents who say one of the coast's most productive salmon-spawning creeks would be harmed, the Oregonian reports.
The outcome could set a lasting precedent for other towns seeking to lock up historic water rights issued decades ago, but never developed that have legal priority over more recent salmon-saving measures.
Supporters say the plan is essential for avoiding a potential water shortage in Lincoln City, and for meeting the long-term needs of the growing population between Lincoln City and Depoe Bay. About 4,500 residents in that district get all their household water from Drift Creek.

PENNSYLVANIA
Sextuplets born to suburban couple
PITTSBURGH Sextuplets born 12 weeks premature were in critical but stable condition yesterday, each breathing with the aid of a ventilator.
The three boys and three girls were delivered Wednesday to Erin and Joe Perry, both 33. The couple used fertility drugs and worked with a fertility clinic, doctors said.
Dr. Cynthia Sims, who performed the delivery at Magee-Women's Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said she was optimistic about the newborns because the pregnancy went well.
Ian, Simon, Olivia, Zoe, Joshua and Madison were delivered after a 28-week pregnancy. Their birth weights ranged from 1 pound, 9 ounces in Madison's case to 2-pound, 9-ounce Ian.

TEXAS
Man pleads guilty, moons the judge
ATHENS A man who pleaded guilty to aggravated assault had an additional six months tacked onto his eight-year sentence after he mooned the judge.
Judge Jim Parsons held Ray Mason, 40, in contempt of court Monday after he dropped his pants and showed Judge Parsons and the rest of the court his backside.
"He said something like, 'Hey, judge, look at this,'" Assistant District Attorney Barry Spencer recalled. About 70 other people were in the courtroom at the time, Mr. Spencer said.
"I've been practicing criminal law for well over 20 years, and I've seen a lot of things," said Mason's defense attorney, John Sickel. "This is the first time anything like that has happened."

WASHINGTON
City allows three pets per home, including hens
OLYMPIA City Council members voted to allow residents to keep up to three hens. Council members agreed with 4-H club members and others who had defied the rules to keep chickens as pets. Olympia allows three pets per household, so people who already own a cat and a dog can have only one chicken.

WISCONSIN
Big Mac lover holds record, stays slim
FOND DU LAC Don Gorske is already in the Guinness Book of Records for eating Big Macs but it's not about the fame anymore.
Mr. Gorske, who downed his 19,000th Big Mac Tuesday, said he wouldn't know what else to eat if it weren't for Big Macs.
"I'd be clueless," he said, adding that he ate a piece of pizza recently, but it "just wasn't the same."
Mr. Gorske, 49, of Fond du Lac, eats two Big Macs per day and drinks little else beside Coke. He also keeps track of everything he eats in a notebook.
At 6 feet tall and 180 pounds, he said he proves that foods you love don't have to make you fat.

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