- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 24, 2004

COLORADO

Report to detail killers’ trouble

LITTLETON — Nearly five years after the Columbine High School massacre, officials will release a report and thousands of pieces of evidence tomorrow that may explain why authorities missed so many warning signs.

Some parents think that investigators, school officials, parents and others ignored signs that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were dangerous. The investigation began after an anonymous report about death threats from Harris turned up in a folder at the sheriff’s department in October.

Among the material to be displayed for the first time are the weapons, ballistic reports and shell casings. There also will be a 94-minute patchwork of videos made by the killers before the attack, including footage shot in the school.

LOUISIANA

Divers try to move wreck

NEW ORLEANS — Salvage divers worked yesterday to move a shipwreck that has obstructed the lower Mississippi River since the weekend and bottled up scores of freighters and cruise ships.

The 178-foot supply boat Lee III sank in the river’s main shipping channel Saturday after colliding with a container ship. Three crew members died and two are missing.

Salvage divers pumped air into the vessel and attached straps as part of a plan to lift the wreck or pull it aside, but there is no definite timetable for reopening the Southwest Pass.

ARIZONA

Residents to vote on preservation plan

TUCSON — Residents will vote May 18 on a $174.3 million bond issue that is the centerpiece of an ambitious plan to preserve Pima County’s natural treasures.

The open-space bond could protect desert grasslands, old-growth saguaro forests, mesquite bosques, creeks and streams, and cottonwood-willow groves. How much land can be preserved will depend on the cost of specific parcels.

FLORIDA

DJ fired for lewd show

TAMPA — A DJ whose sexually explicit morning-show antics prompted the Federal Communications Commission to propose a $755,000 fine last month has been fired, radio giant Clear Channel Communications said yesterday.

The company agreed to fire popular radio talk-show host Bubba the Love Sponge after deciding that his raunchy show didn’t fit its standards, company President John Hogan said in a statement.

“After conducting an internal investigation, we concluded that Bubba’s show will no longer be carried on any Clear Channel Radio station,” Mr. Hogan said. “This type of content is inappropriate and not reflective of the way we run our local stations or Clear Channel Radio.”

INDIANA

Chief eyes billing nonresidents in crashes

PORTER — Out-of-towners who crash their cars on U.S. 12 and U.S. 20 in Porter might have to start paying for local police assistance.

Police Chief John Lane planned to make the proposal to the town council yesterday.

Under the proposal, nonresidents involved in traffic accidents on either highway in the town about 15 miles east of Gary would be billed for the time officers spend at the scene.

Cost Recovery Corp., a Dayton, Ohio, company, would bill the insurance company of the motorist at fault. For example, a half-hour spent at a property-damage accident and writing up the report could cost an insurer $101, Chief Lane said.

IOWA

Legislators may debate tax proposals

DES MOINES — Republican legislative leaders say they might allow debate on Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack’s proposals to raise the cigarette tax and expand the sales tax.

Majority Republicans have said repeatedly that they will not allow tax increases this year. However, a poll in the Des Moines Sunday Register showed that a majority of Iowans favor the idea.

KENTUCKY

County official acquitted of murder

RICHMOND — A former county official was acquitted yesterday of killing a one-time employee who had slapped him with a $30 million sexual-harassment suit.

A jury took about 3 hours to find former Jackson County Clerk Jerry Dean not guilty of murder and tampering with evidence in the slaying of Audrey Marcum, a former bookkeeper in his office.

Prosecutors said Mr. Dean, 60, shot Miss Marcum at her home in 2001, days before a deposition was to be taken for her lawsuit. She said in the lawsuit that Mr. Dean made numerous unwelcome advances.

“I didn’t kill that girl, and it was proven,” Mr. Dean said after the verdict.

MASSACHUSETTS

Poster to highlight support delinquents

BOSTON — Massachusetts released its list of the “Ten Most Wanted” parents who together owe their children more than $1 million in unpaid child support.

Posters highlighting the parents will be hung in post offices, courts, government offices and businesses across the state. The state created the poster program in 1992 to call attention to the worst child-support delinquents.

MINNESOTA

New police chief tickets mayor

MINNEAPOLIS — New Police Chief Bill McManus proved he’s serious about zero tolerance — by issuing a ticket to his boss, Mayor R.T. Rybak.

Chief McManus said he gave the mayor a ticket for illegally leaving a vehicle running on a city street.

Chief McManus, who was sworn in last Tuesday, said he became aware of Mr. Rybak’s violation when he saw a story about it in the newspaper Saturday. Chief McManus, who was Mr. Rybak’s choice as chief, said he spoke with the mayor, who “agreed it would be appropriate for him to receive a citation.”

NEW MEXICO

Snowstorm closes schools, highways

ALBUQUERQUE — Heavy snow spread across wide areas of New Mexico yesterday, shutting down major highways and closing schools.

Up to 20 inches of snow blanketed mountains around Las Vegas east of Santa Fe, and Las Vegas got 13 inches, the National Weather Service said. Eleven inches fell at Sandia Park, east of Albuquerque on the eastern flank of the Sandia Mountains. Eight inches fell at Los Alamos, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory was closed for the day, said Kevin Roark, a lab spokesman.

NORTH CAROLINA

Liaison to Hispanics steps down

RALEIGH — The man who serves as the official liaison between the state’s fast-growing Hispanic community and state government is stepping down effective March 1.

Nolo Martinez’s resignation comes after a fierce battle between the Hispanic community and state leaders over tightened rules prohibiting illegal immigrants from obtaining driver’s licenses.

OHIO

Airport worker killed by exploding tire

TOLEDO — A jetway tire exploded while being repaired, killing a maintenance worker at Toledo Express Airport.

Brian Bergeon, 34, had removed the tire from a jetway, which is used by passengers to walk from the terminal onto an airplane. He apparently was standing on the tire and trying to remove it from the rim when it exploded Monday, authorities said.

OKLAHOMA

Students sue over Christian paper

OKLAHOMA CITY — Two students have filed a federal lawsuit against the University of Oklahoma for refusing to fund a Christian newspaper.

Ricky Thomas and James Wickett say another student publication dealing with alternative viewpoints was allocated $4,750, but they were told that the Beacon OU was rejected “because it is religious propaganda and takes a stance on many issues.”

“This is viewpoint discrimination. It’s censorship, and it’s unconstitutional,” Alliance Defense Fund attorney Kevin Theriot said. The lawsuit, filed Friday, requests that the regulations be overturned and unspecified damages awarded.

UTAH

Physicians donate books to Iraqi doctors

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah doctors have donated 54 boxes of textbooks and medical journals to Iraqi physicians.

A physician assistant serving with the American military in Iraq noticed a major shortage of medical journals and textbooks and sent an e-mail hoping for up-to-date materials. A doctor with Utah’s Intermountain Health Care received the message and sought help from fellow physicians.

WISCONSIN

Attorney general cited for drunken driving

MADISON — Wisconsin’s attorney general was cited for drunken driving and fined $784 after her car went off the road and into a ditch. She also could lose her driver’s license because she refused to take a blood test, sheriff’s officials said yesterday.

In a statement to her staff, Peg Lautenschlager said she fell asleep Monday night and drove off the road.

Her blood-alcohol level was 0.12 percent, according to a preliminary breath test cited in the sheriff’s report. The legal limit in Wisconsin is 0.08 percent.

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