- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 1, 2004

ILLINOIS

Mayor Daley’s son enlists in Army

CHICAGO — Mayor Richard M. Daley’s 29-year-old son has enlisted in the Army and soon will report for duty in the airborne infantry.

“It’s been in the back of my mind for some time,” Patrick Daley told the Chicago Sun-Times in yesterday’s editions. “I left West Point during my freshman year when I was 18 years old and always remembered their motto, ‘duty, honor and country.’ But I was so young and not really old enough to understand what it really meant. But I know now.”

Mr. Daley finished college at the University of Illinois and got a master’s degree in business from the University of Chicago in June.

“Dad is very supportive, and Mom is doing just what mothers are supposed to do, worrying about her son,” he said.

WISCONSIN

Murder suspect appears in court

HAYWARD — A Minnesota man accused of fatally shooting six deer hunters in Wisconsin appeared in court yesterday, a day after murder charges were filed against him.

During a hearing in Sawyer County, Chai Vang, 36, of St. Paul, Minn., waived his right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days. The hearing then was set for Dec. 29.

The criminal complaint filed Monday said the hunters managed to shoot back once or twice after the Nov. 21 confrontation with the Hmong immigrant.

According to the complaint, Mr. Vang said he opened fire after the others took a shot at him and berated him with racial slurs.

ALASKA

Resort building ice museum

FAIRBANKS — Chena Hot Springs Resort has begun construction of a four-gallery ice museum and chapel to be used for weddings.

Owner Bernie Karl says he and ice carver Steve Brice learned important lessons since being forced to allow the Aurora Ice Hotel to melt last winter after ice chandeliers collapsed.

ARIZONA

Condor chicks take first flights

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK — Two California condor chicks that were hatched in the wild have taken their inaugural flights, officials said Monday.

A chick hatched in May at the Grand Canyon took wing for the first time on Thanksgiving. The other chick, hatched in May at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, took its first flight Nov. 23.

CONNECTICUT

Program aims to free innocent inmates

HARTFORD — The state public defender’s office is ready to begin a program aimed at finding and freeing innocent people in state prisons.

The Connecticut Innocence Project will seek out case evidence, especially DNA, that can exonerate inmates.

GEORGIA

Worker rescued from collapsed ditch

CUMMING — A construction worker was freed yesterday after spending 12 hours trapped in a ditch, buried up to his neck by tons of dirt.

Officials said he appeared to be unhurt, but could have internal injuries caused by the pressure of the dirt on his body, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The unidentified worker was digging a trench for a sewer line to a subdivision when the trench collapsed. The collapse filled in the trench box safety device in which he was working.

The cave-in was reported at 8:51 p.m. Monday. It took rescue crews until 2:15 a.m. to stabilize the area, and he was freed at 8:30 a.m.

KANSAS

‘BTK’ killer leaves clues about his life

WICHITA — The serial killer known only as “BTK” suggests in letters that he was born in 1939, lost his father in World War II and is a railroad buff, authorities said yesterday as they appealed to the public for clues to his identity.

Police released a summary of personal details provided in recent letters they believe were sent by the killer, including scattered facts about his life since childhood.

The killer — known by the self-coined nickname BTK, which stands for “Bind, Torture, Kill” — is linked to eight unsolved homicides that terrorized Wichita between 1974 and 1986. After years of silence, the killer surfaced again with messages earlier this year.

MISSISSIPPI

USS Yorktown to be decommissioned

PASCAGOULA — The USS Yorktown will be removed from service Friday during a decommissioning ceremony, two months after its sister ship, Ticonderoga, was towed from the Naval Station Pascagoula.

The Yorktown will join Ticonderoga at the Navy’s Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility in Pennsylvania.

NEVADA

Impeachment trial opens for controller

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Senate voted down a motion Monday to dismiss impeachment articles against state Controller Kathy Augustine.

She faces charges that she should have known that staffers and equipment in her state office were used in her 2002 re-election campaign.

After the 20-1 vote, the two-term Republican was called before the Senate and pleaded not guilty. She declined to comment afterward. Her trial starts today and could take two to three weeks.

The dismissal motion by her legal team said the charges were not serious enough to remove her from office.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

House speaker faces ethics charges

CONCORD — The state’s House speaker was accused Monday of failing to report nearly $64,000 in donations from lobbyists, businesses and others that he used for personal expenses.

The vote by a legislative panel to cite Rep. Gene Chandler for ethics violations was unanimous. Mr. Chandler announced hours later that he would not seek re-election as speaker.

Mr. Chandler, a Republican, said he did not plan to resign his House seat. He expressed regret for disappointing his supporters.

After a formal hearing Jan. 13, the ethics committee could dismiss the charges or recommend penalties ranging from a reprimand to expulsion. The full House then would vote on the recommendation.

NEW MEXICO

Woman dies of caffeine overdose

SANTA FE — A New Mexico woman who died after her son punched her in the face actually was killed by a caffeine overdose, medical investigators say.

New Mexico’s Office of the Medical Investigator said Ruth Ann Smith’s death certificate now indicates she was “assaulted while caffeine intoxicated,” the Albuquerque Journal reported yesterday.

Death by caffeine overdose is rare, the paper said, with only two such incidents reported in 2003. A person would have to consume 5 to 10 grams of caffeine to suffer an overdose, the paper said. A cup of coffee contains up to 150 milligrams of caffeine.

Despite the new findings, charges against Mrs. Smith’s son, Eric Smith, will stand because the doctor who examined her “said that the injury [from being struck] contributed to the death,” said OMI spokesman Tim Stepetic.

NEW YORK

Students sue to delay admission of men

AUBURN — Claiming they were deceived about attending a women’s school, two Wells College students are suing to prevent the school from admitting men until after this year’s freshman class graduates.

The lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of freshman Lauren Searle-Lebel of Arcata, Calif., and sophomore Jennifer LaBarbera of Fredonia, N.Y.

The students seek preliminary and permanent injunctions to stop the school, founded in 1868 as a woman’s liberal arts college, from admitting men before fall 2008.

NORTH DAKOTA

Collapse kills worker on bridge

NEW TOWN — A section of a huge bridge under construction over the Missouri River collapsed yesterday, killing one worker and injuring three others, officials said.

Fire Chief Duane Estvold said the man who was killed was hooked to a harness and was partly submerged after the section of the Four Bears Bridge gave way about 10 a.m.

The 4,200-foot bridge is to be the longest in the state when it is finished. It will replace a narrow, outdated bridge.

TEXAS

Board urges delay of woman’s execution

HUNTSVILLE — The Texas parole board yesterday recommended delaying the state’s first execution of a black woman to give her attorneys more time to investigate her claims of innocence.

Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, can agree with the board’s 5-1 vote or allow the execution to go ahead as scheduled today. There was no immediate comment from the governor’s office.

WASHINGTON

Republican certified as state governor

OLYMPIA — Republican Dino Rossi was certified as the winner of Washington’s race for governor, but the closest gubernatorial contest in state history is far from over.

“A recount is almost a certainty,” said Secretary of State Sam Reed, the state’s chief elections officer.

Mr. Reed declared that Mr. Rossi defeated Democrat Christine Gregoire by 42 votes out of 2.8 million cast. On Friday, Democrats are expected to request a hand recount of some or all of the ballots. That could extend the uncertainty until Christmas. Worries have been raised about whether a winner will be known in time for inauguration on Jan. 12.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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