- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 3, 2004

PENNSYLVANIA

Fund-raising cancer patient dies at 8

PHILADELPHIA — A young cancer patient who started a lemonade stand to raise money for cancer research, sparking a nationwide campaign that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, has died. She was 8.

Alexandra Scott, of Wynnewood, died peacefully Sunday at home on her favorite couch, her father, Jay Scott, said yesterday. Alexandra was diagnosed just before her first birthday with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer.

Alexandra set up a lemonade stand to raise money for treatment and took in $2,000 the first year. A series of stands across the nation had raised a total of $200,000 after four years.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Alex strengthens, aims for coast

CHARLESTON — A hurricane warning was issued yesterday as Tropical Storm Alex, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, made its way closer to North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Alex was centered about 130 miles south of Wilmington, N.C., and had maximum sustained winds near 65 mph as of 8 p.m. The storm was expected to grow into a hurricane in the next 24 hours.

Officials recommended that residents on North Carolina’s Outer Bank islands stay off the road today as gusts reach hurricane force. “We expect gale-force winds most of the day,” said Dare County, N.C., spokeswoman Dorothy Toolan.

ALABAMA

Moore appeals to Supreme Court

MONTGOMERY — Roy Moore is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to reclaim his job as Alabama’s chief justice, saying he was ousted for “pressing a belief in God” when he refused a federal order to move his Ten Commandments monument.

In a legal brief, Mr. Moore’s attorneys argued that a state judicial ethics panel imposed an “unconstitutional religious test” on Mr. Moore when it expelled him. The brief also said the panel wrongly refused to consider Mr. Moore’s contention that the federal court order was illegal.

“Certainly, you should not be removed from office for pressing a belief in God,” Mr. Moore said at a news conference yesterday.

Mr. Moore said he expects to know by mid-October or early November if the Supreme Court will hear his appeal.

ARKANSAS

Man enters plea in protest case

CONWAY — A farmer who acknowledged spreading 3 tons of manure along the route of a homosexual-rights parade pleaded not guilty yesterday, saying he was exercising his constitutional right to free speech.

Two former radio disc jockeys pleaded not guilty to handing out homosexual pornography at the June 27 parade.

The farmer, Wesley Bono, 35, of Greenbrier, is accused of dumping the manure in front of a homosexual couple’s home and spreading it along two city streets.

CALIFORNIA

Witness: Peterson faced mounting debt

REDWOOD CITY — A witness in Scott Peterson’s murder trial presented evidence yesterday that might support a motive — he was going broke and getting deeper into debt in the months before his wife was killed.

In 2002, Mr. Peterson was paying out nearly 70 percent of his average monthly take-home pay of $3,694 to cover credit cards bills and other fixed debt, not including everyday expenses, said Gary Nienhuis, an internal auditor for the city of Modesto. A year earlier, Mr. Peterson’s average income was higher — an average of $4,335 a month — and he was paying out 58.7 percent of it to make debt payments, said Mr. Nienhuis.

DELAWARE

Lightning strikes Biden’s house

WILMINGTON — Lightning struck the home of Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., starting a small fire that was contained to the kitchen.

No one was injured in Sunday’s fire, which started amid a storm that caused serious flooding in Pennsylvania and knocked out power to hundreds of Delaware homes and businesses.

Mr. Biden’s wife, Jill, reported the fire Sunday morning, officials said.

KENTUCKY

Parents complain about info giveaway

LOUISVILLE — Some parents of schoolchildren are complaining about a federal law requiring high schools to provide the military with information about students. Since the enactment in 2002 of the No Child Left Behind Act, high schools must give recruiters student information, which is used to appeal directly to teenagers.

Grayson County High School Principal Mic Huffman questioned the need to contact teens without parental involvement.

LOUISIANA

Serial slaying suspect begins first trial

PORT ALLEN — Working in makeshift courtrooms at a convention center, lawyers began winnowing some 300 potential jurors yesterday in the first trial of the man suspected in the serial killings of seven women in southern Louisiana.

Derrick Todd Lee is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Geralyn DeSoto, whose slashed body was found in an Addis mobile home in early 2002 on the day she registered for graduate school at Louisiana State University.

If convicted, the 35-year-old Mr. Lee faces a mandatory life prison sentence.

Investigators say Mr. Lee has been linked by DNA evidence to the killings of seven women. He has been charged in two other killings.

MISSOURI

Runaway barge sinks, closing river

ST. LOUIS — A runaway grain barge hit one of the Mississippi River’s busiest crossings and sank, forcing the Coast Guard to close a two-mile stretch of the river yesterday while the agency decided how to deal with the submerged vessel.

The barge was among 15 that broke away late Sunday from a towboat and floated down the river, with an unknown number hitting the Poplar Street Bridge, the Coast Guard said.

Five other towboats rounded up the remaining 14 barges, the Coast Guard said. There were no injuries.

By yesterday morning, crews pinpointed the sunken barge on the Missouri side of the river, several hundred yards from the bridge. It could take days for a salvage crew to set up a crane to retrieve the barge, Coast Guard Lt. Bill Clark said.

NEW YORK

Post office reopens after 9/11 attacks

NEW YORK — The post office across the street from the World Trade Center reopened yesterday for the first time since it was damaged in the terrorist attack nearly three years ago.

“It’s emotional to come back here,” said Carol Valdez, a paralegal who lost her job at a nearby firm when business slowed down after the attacks.

The 15-story limestone building that housed the U.S. Post Office, the Legal Aid Society and the city Housing Authority was contaminated with debris after the trade center’s collapse.

RHODE ISLAND

State releases tapes from nightclub fire

PROVIDENCE — Several residents who saw flames shooting from a burning nightclub or heard the ambulances and firetrucks racing to the scene offered help to rescue workers in the hours after the deadly fire erupted, tapes released yesterday show.

Callers offered trucks, gloves, water and food to firefighters and police racing to the fire at the Station nightclub in West Warwick on Feb. 20, 2003, that left 100 dead and more than 200 injured.

The tapes also detail the horrific scene that rescue personnel found. Screams and shouting could be heard in the background of the recordings.

VERMONT

Counseling offered to gamblers

BURLINGTON — The Vermont Council on Problem Gambling is offering face-to-face counseling for the first time in its eight-year history, organizers said. The move follows an increase in funding from the legislature.

The council’s new $90,000 yearly budget is about double what it was getting previously. Counselors will work from offices in Bellows Falls and Burlington.

WASHINGTON

Muslim chaplain resigns from Army

FORT LEWIS — A Muslim chaplain cleared of espionage charges after being imprisoned for 76 days resigned from the Army yesterday, saying officials never apologized or allowed him to retrieve his belongings from U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Capt. James Yee, 35, ministered to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, where the military is holding suspected terrorists. He was taken into custody after the military initially linked him to a potential espionage ring.

Captain Yee asked to be discharged on Jan. 7.

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