- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 9, 2004

ARIZONA

Tumble from car kills city official

PHOENIX — A top municipal official in Phoenix died in a bizarre incident in which he crawled out of his moving vehicle, stood atop its roof and extended his arms outward before tumbling off, authorities said yesterday.

Kevin Keogh, a 28-year city employee who started as a management intern and became its top finance manager, died at the scene after he plunged from the vehicle and struck the pavement and a tree Wednesday afternoon in nearby Scottsdale, police said. He was 55.

It was not clear whether Mr. Keogh jumped or accidentally fell from the vehicle, which was traveling about 50 mph, police said.

COLORADO

‘Bonnie’ sentenced to 10 years in prison

DENVER — A woman accused of helping her boyfriend rob banks across the West like a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison and ordered to repay $231,000.

Nova Guthrie, 31, and Craig Pritchert, her boyfriend, were accused in a string of holdups in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and New Mexico from 1997 to 1999. They once were on the FBI’s most-wanted list.

Prosecutors said the pair netted about $500,000 and used it to visit ski resorts and beaches worldwide. They were captured last year in South Africa, where they were leading law-abiding lives under assumed names.

Pritchert, 43, was recently sentenced to 221/2 years in prison and ordered to repay $206,406.

CONNECTICUT

SpongeBob’s vanishing not stolen, but melted

NORWICH — The mystery of the disappearance of at least one 6-foot-tall inflatable SpongeBob Square Pants has been solved.

It was not thievery at the Norwich Burger King. It was the heat.

Police said Tuesday that the case was solved after they learned that a restaurant maintenance crew discarded a deflated SpongeBob after it melted into the rooftop heating-system air ducts.

SpongeBob had been a fixture on the roof for nearly a month before disappearing Nov. 30. The maintenance crew did not tell management of the meltdown and subsequent cleanup.

Burger King managers reported the item missing last Friday. Burger Kings in 14 states reported thefts of SpongeBob displays last week.

GEORGIA

Ex-college president indicted on fraud

ATLANTA — The former president of Morris Brown College and an aide swindled federal loan programs for about $5 million, signing up hundreds of students for loans they didn’t want and using the money to pay the school’s bills, federal investigators said yesterday.

Delores Cross, who was president of the historically black Atlanta college from 1999 to 2002, and her financial aid director, Parvesh Singh, each face more than 30 federal counts of fraud. The indictments were handed up by a federal grand jury Wednesday and announced yesterday.

The indictment says the 68-year-old Miss Cross increased school spending by more than $8 million during her first year as president, and then requested fraudulent loans to pay for it. When the school’s financial troubles were uncovered in 2002, she was fired and the school lost its accreditation.

KENTUCKY

Professor receives religion award

LOUISVILLE — A University of Notre Dame professor has won the $200,000 Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his biography of 18th-century Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards.

George M. Marsden is the author of “Jonathan Edwards: A Life,” about the man considered one of the country’s greatest theologians.

The annual award is given by the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the University of Louisville.

The Grawemeyer awards are named for the late H. Charles Grawemeyer, an industrialist, philanthropist and graduate of Louisville’s Speed Scientific School.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Driving instructor fired over drinking charges

CONCORD — An uncertified high school driving instructor previously convicted of drunken driving was arrested after his vehicle ran off the road as he was headed to teach a driving class, officials said.

Arthur Desmeules, 66, faces several charges stemming from the Nov. 22 incident, including drunken driving. The Nashua School District fired him last week.

He had taught driving to students in the district for 35 years. His certification to teach lapsed in September, but he continued to conduct classes, officials said.

NEW YORK

Ex-radical withdraws from teaching course

CLINTON — A former leftist radical who spent 16 years in prison for possessing explosives has withdrawn from teaching a college seminar after her hiring sparked protests.

Susan Rosenberg, whose 58-year prison sentence was commuted in 2001 by outgoing President Clinton, made her decision because it was in the best interest of all parties, Hamilton College officials said Wednesday.

In response to her hiring, prospective students withdrew applications and donors rescinded hundreds of thousands of dollars in pledges, school officials said.

The former radical, who earned a master’s degree in creative writing while in prison, was to teach a one-month course in January called “Resistance Memoirs: Writing, Identity and Change.”

PENNSYLVANIA

Coupons earned in recycling program

PHILADELPHIA — City officials will start a pilot program next month in which people can earn restaurant and store coupons by recycling their trash.

About 6,000 households in the Chestnut Hill and East Oak Lane neighborhoods will get recycling containers stamped with bar codes. Specially equipped trucks will read the code and weigh the recyclables.

Residents will earn $5 in coupons for every 10 pounds of recycling, up to a maximum of $25 a month.

WASHINGTON

Mom’s eavesdropping violated privacy law

SEATTLE — Striking a blow for rebellious teenagers, the Washington Supreme Court ruled yesterday that state law prohibits parents from eavesdropping on a child’s phone conversations.

The case reached the high court because of a purse snatching. A 17-year-old boy was convicted of the robbery, in part on testimony from his girlfriend’s mother, who overheard him discussing the crime on the phone with her daughter.

The daughter had taken a cordless phone into her bedroom and closed the door. In another room, her mother pressed the speakerphone button on an extension, listened in and took notes.

The court ruled that the daughter and her boyfriend had a reasonable expectation of privacy on the phone. Washington law prohibits intercepting or recording conversations without the consent of all participants.

The boy will get a new trial.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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