- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 6, 2003

CONNECTICUT

Man gets two years for illegal exports

NEW HAVEN — A Florida man was sentenced to two years in prison Friday for illegally exporting military equipment to a Pakistani company in the United Arab Emirates.

Alan Haller of Boca Raton, Fla., tried to ship parts for military transport vehicles to the company, Advance Technical Systems. After learning he needed an export license to ship the items, Haller canceled his initial order, then reordered the parts and claimed it was a domestic sale, prosecutors said.

Federal agents intercepted the shipment off the coast of South Carolina in December.

COLORADO

Disabled man spends six days in tub

HIGHLANDS RANCH — A disabled man who slipped and fell in his bathtub was trapped there for six days before he was rescued by a van driver who arrived at the house for a scheduled trip.

Bruce Ashworth, 55, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair, fell on Aug. 29 and was unable to reach the safety handles on the bathtub to rescue himself. His service dog, Libby, brought a phone to him, but the battery wasn’t charged.

Mr. Ashworth managed to reach a cleaning-spray bottle, which he rinsed out and used to drink water.

On Thursday, Julie Johnson, who drives a van for elderly and disabled people, arrived to pick up the retired engineer for a scheduled trip. When no one answered the door, she asked a neighbor to call 911, then was able to reach through a dog door to unlock a door into the home.

FLORIDA

Tropical Storm Henri gets depressed

PUNTA GORDA — Tropical Storm Henri weakened into a tropical depression Saturday and spared most of Florida the heavy rain the already saturated state had feared.

Florida escaped much of the flooding originally forecast from what had been Tropical Storm Henri, with only scattered reports of street flooding yesterday.

The depression had sustained winds of 30 mph, below the 39 mph threshold for tropical storm status, and was expected to emerge over the Atlantic by evening. The National Hurricane Center in Miami discontinued all tropical storm warnings for Florida.

WASHINGTON

LIBRARIANS THROW BOOK AT SHUSHING DOLL

SEATTLE — A NEW ACTION FIGURE OF A FRUMPY-LOOKING LIBRARIAN WHO MOVES HER INDEX FINGER TO HER LIPS WITH “AMAZING PUSH-BUTTON SHUSHING ACTION” IS PROMPTING LIBRARIANS AROUND THE WORLD TO RAISE THEIR VOICES IN PROTEST.

“THE SHUSHING THING JUST PUT ME RIGHT OVER THE EDGE,” SAID DIANE DUBOIS, LIBRARY DIRECTOR OF CARIBOU PUBLIC LIBRARY IN CARIBOU, MAINE. “WE’RE SO NOT LIKE THAT ANYMORE. IT’S SO STEREOTYPICAL I COULD SCREAM.”

THE 5-INCH LIBRARIAN ACTION FIGURE, WHICH SHOWS A BESPECTACLED WOMAN IN A CARDIGAN, LONG PLAIN SKIRT AND SENSIBLE SHOES, GOES ON SALE IN OCTOBER FOR $8.95.

IT IS PRODUCED BY SEATTLE RETAILER ARCHIE MCPHEE AND CO., WHOSE LINEUP OF ACTION FIGURES INCLUDES SIGMUND FREUD, NICO THE ESPRESSO STAND BARISTA, AND THE MCPHEE ACTION FIGURE THAT STARTED IT ALL, JESUS CHRIST.

ON WEB SITES AND DISCUSSION GROUPS, IN PHONE CALLS AND E-MAILS, LIBRARIANS FROM AS FAR AS AUSTRALIA HAVE MADE IT CLEAR HOW ANNOYED THEY ARE WITH THE DOLL.

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