- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 8, 2004

CALIFORNIA

Advocates for abandoned babies win lottery

CALIMESA — A couple who provide funerals for dead abandoned babies and helped inspire a law to save unwanted newborns have won a $27 million jackpot in the California lottery.

Debi Faris-Cifelli and her husband, Steve, won the jackpot last Wednesday and plan to use the winnings to continue their advocacy work, possibly by starting a college scholarship fund.

“We can do some good with the money,” Mr. Cifelli, a high school guidance counselor, told television station KABC on Monday. “Now we’re going to be able to do some things that’ll last lifetimes, generations.”

FLORIDA

Driver charged with attempted murder

ST. AUGUSTINE — A St. Augustine-area woman accused of running down two youths who had bounced a golf ball against her vehicle has been charged with attempted murder.

Isiah Grayer, 14, suffered head injuries, and his family said he had slipped into a coma. His brother, Justin Marshman, 16, suffered a skull fracture and has been released from the hospital. Justin’s twin, Jamel, escaped injury.

Kathy Allen is being held without bail on three counts of attempted murder. She told the court that she had mental problems, the Florida Times Union in Jacksonville reported.

ALABAMA

City celebrates bus boycott anniversary

MONTGOMERY — The city began a yearlong celebration leading up to the 50th anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycott by unveiling a 1950s-era bus to be used for tours and hands-on history lessons.

The boycott was started Dec. 5, 1955, four days after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat.

GEORGIA

Carter’s grandson accused of burglary

PEACHTREE CITY — A teenage grandson of former President Jimmy Carter has been charged with burglary and possession of marijuana after police said he broke into a house of a former friend and took a video-game console.

Jeremy Carter, 17, also was charged with being a minor in possession of alcohol. He was released Sunday on $11,500 bond.

The high school senior is the son of Annette and Jeff Carter, Jimmy Carter’s youngest son.

“My son is innocent. This is ridiculous. He will be exonerated,” Jeff Carter said Monday night.

HAWAII

Pearl Harbor attack’s anniversary marked

PEARL HARBOR — With U.S. troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, Americans marked the anniversary yesterday of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor with a salute to the nation’s resilience 63 years ago.

“It was a day when weaker souls would have surrendered,” Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, Hawaii Democrat, said of the December 7, 1941, attack that thrust the United States into World War II.

Mr. Inouye, a Japanese-American recipient of the Medal of Honor who lost his right arm serving in Europe as a member of the Army’s distinguished 442nd Regimental Combat Team, spoke to more than 1,000 people gathered at the USS Arizona Memorial visitor center to commemorate the attack.

A moment of silence at 7:55 a.m. marked the exact time the Japanese bombs began to fall, killing more than 2,000 Americans.

ILLINOIS

Woman impaled by rod in car accident

CHICAGO — A mother of three was hospitalized and in serious condition yesterday, a day after she was impaled by a metal rod during a car accident, officials said.

The rod slammed through the woman’s windshield and into her mouth, exiting from the back of her neck, police said.

Paramedics called for a doctor, who stabilized Alejandra Martinez, 28, while emergency workers used an electric saw to cut off the rod to within a foot of her face.

Mrs. Martinez, a native of Mexico who speaks little English, apparently had been on her way to work early Monday when she missed a stop sign and plowed into another car at an intersection, losing control of her Ford Taurus.

INDIANA

Casino bids $65,000 for ‘ghost cane’

INDIANAPOLIS — A cane that belonged to a 6-year-old boy’s grandfather soon will have a new home — and, Collin Anderson hopes, so will his grandfather’s ghost.

GoldenPalace.com will add the “ghost cane” to a collection that includes a grilled cheese sandwich said to bear the image of the Virgin Mary. The Antigua-based casino paid $28,000 last month for the sandwich, which it bought — like the cane — on EBay.

“It’s just the new Americana thing,” said Monty Kerr, a spokesman for the online casino that on Monday offered Mary Anderson $65,000 for her father’s metal walking cane.

Mr. Kerr said the cane likely will go on tour like the famous sandwich. Mrs. Anderson auctioned the cane to ease her son Collin’s fears that his grandfather’s ghost was haunting their home in Hobart.

LOUISIANA

Analysts offer advice at poverty summit

MONROE — A panel of national analysts studying the social and economic problems of poverty offered a series of recommendations yesterday to help one of the poorest states in the nation.

The suggestions include removing taxes for those families that fall below the poverty line, improving access to loans and financial services for the poor and boosting the minimum wage.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco convened the “Solutions to Poverty Summit” to develop a comprehensive plan to fight Louisiana’s poverty.

More than 750,000 Louisiana residents — 17 percent of the state’s population — live in poverty, the fourth-highest rate in the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

MASSACHUSETTS

Delta worker killed by truck at airport

BOSTON — A Delta Air Lines worker was fatally struck by a de-icing truck yesterday at Logan International Airport.

The 44-year-old man was walking on the tarmac at about daybreak when he stepped into the path of a truck used to remove ice from aircraft, authorities said.

“At this point, all the evidence points to this being a horrible, horrible accident,” said David Procopio, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Town to vote on saving 261 acres

HOLLIS — At a town meeting next week, voters will consider spending more than $4 million to protect 261 acres. Voters will consider buying the 181-acre Woodmont Orchard and 80 acres of woodlands.

About 20 percent of the town’s 21,000 acres is protected from development.

NEW YORK

Firefighter injured in attack sues city

NEW YORK — A firefighter critically hurt when he was hit in the face with a steel chair reputedly thrown by a fellow firefighter sued the city on Monday for $100 million.

Firefighter Robert Walsh portrayed the Staten Island firehouse where he worked as a place where alcohol flowed freely. He said the bosses not only knew it, but also sometimes paid for the alcohol and drank it themselves.

That environment set the stage for another firefighter to create a “sangria” mix in a pot in the firehouse kitchen on New Year’s Eve, get drunk and smash a chair on Mr. Walsh’s head in anger over something he said, according to the lawsuit.

RHODE ISLAND

Governor plans to end charter school caps

PROVIDENCE — Gov. Donald L. Carcieri announced that he plans to file legislation in the upcoming session of the General Assembly to eliminate restrictions on the number of charter schools allowed in each school district.

Mr. Carcieri said the caps keep students on waiting lists and out of class.

WASHINGTON

Spokane Diocese files for Chapter 11

SPOKANE — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, saying it did not have the money to cover lawsuits accusing clergy of abuse.

The diocese faces claims that total about $77 million, and Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the best way to ensure that all victims are treated fairly and that the church continues its mission, said Bishop William Skylstad, who was just elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In its filing, the diocese listed assets of $11.1 million and liabilities of $81.3 million — the vast majority being sexual-abuse claims.

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