- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 3, 2004

MONTANA

Bakery sells half-loaf for more dough

HELENA — Sometimes, half a loaf is enough.

That’s what Wheat Montana Farms & Bakery, which makes 86 bread products, is finding as it markets loaves of bread with eight slices and two heels — 50 percent less bread than the standard loaf in stores. At about $1.35 a loaf, half-size bread costs more per ounce.

But Dean Folkvord, chief executive of the regional bakery and grain farm in southwestern Montana, says small households, such as people living alone and childless couples, are willing to pay for a package that reduces clutter and doesn’t get wasted.

The company next plans to sell burger buns packaged four to a bag, instead of the usual eight.

TENNESSEE

Web organ donor freed from jail

CLEVELAND — A man who donated his kidney to someone he met over the Internet was freed from jail Tuesday after he paid part of his delinquent child support.

Robert Smitty was jailed Oct. 28 over $8,100 in unpaid child support, eight days after the kidney transplant operation. He was released Tuesday after paying $1,150, authorities said.

A payment plan for the rest of the debt will be set up. Attorney Bill Speek said anonymous donors had contributed $2,650 toward his client’s release.

ARKANSAS

15th victim dies after bus crash

LITTLE ROCK — A retired policeman was the 15th person to die from injuries after an Oct. 9 tour bus crash in eastern Arkansas.

Retired Chicago police Sgt. Herbert Redmond, 62, died Tuesday night at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn., state police said. The bus, which had 30 persons on board, had been going from Chicago to casinos in Tunica, Miss., when it went off Interstate 55 northwest of Memphis.

Investigators said the bus, owned by Walters Bus Service of Chicago, had not been in sound mechanical condition and that driver Herbert Walters, 67, had operated the vehicle carelessly. Mr. Walters died in the crash.

DELAWARE

Officials report season’s first flu case

DOVER — State public health officials yesterday announced the first confirmed case of the influenza season this year.

A patient diagnosed in New Castle County with influenza type A did not require hospitalization but is receiving antiviral treatment under a doctor’s care, officials said.

Meanwhile, the Division of Public Health is investigating several unconfirmed reports.

“While it is still early in the influenza season, there is no evidence of widespread illness,” said Dr. Jaime Rivera, the state public health director.

DPH officials will announce next week a schedule of vaccination clinics for groups identified as high priority by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as people older than 65, children ages 6 months to 23 months, pregnant women and people with underlying illnesses.

FLORIDA

Ailing smokers seek restoration of award

TALLAHASSEE — Sick Florida smokers yesterday urged the state’s highest court to punish the tobacco industry for “fraud and deceit” by restoring a $145 billion class-action award, the largest by an American jury.

The smokers’ attorneys told the Florida Supreme Court that it should reduce the amount if the justices think it is too large, as long as they also reverse an appellate court decision that overturned the Miami verdict and punitive judgment.

Stanley Rosenblatt and his wife, Susan, shepherded the case, which accused the industry of misleading people about the dangers of smoking.

ILLINOIS

Shooting suspect unfit to stand trial

SPRINGFIELD — A man accused of fatally shooting a security guard at the state Capitol was ruled unfit to stand trial yesterday.

Circuit Judge Robert Eggers committed Derek W. Potts to a state mental health center for treatment. The judge denied prosecutors’ requests to have a second psychiatrist evaluate the suspect.

Mr. Potts, 24, is charged with first-degree murder, burglary and several gun violations in connection with the Sept. 20 slaying of guard William Wozniak.

MICHIGAN

Driver fails to foil gas station robbery

WARREN — A man trying to stop a robbery at a gas station ended up smashing a plate-glass window, wrecking his car and fingering the wrong man. The suspect escaped — minus a shoe — and remains at large.

Michael Lonsway’s insurance company says it won’t pay for the damage. Police said what he did was too risky. Even so, Mr. Lonsway, 43, said he would do it again.

Mr. Lonsway had pulled into a Shell station when he saw a man run inside and dart behind the counter. Seconds later, an employee stepped back toward a window, hands held high. Mr. Lonsway said he pulled his Pontiac Grand Prix within a few feet of the entrance, hoping to surprise the robber upon exit.

“First I just tried to pin him,” Mr. Lonsway said. “He said, ‘Come on, let me go.’ I said, ‘You ain’t going anywhere.’ That’s when I floored it.” The vehicle plowed through a window, shattering the glass and knocking over merchandise.

NEW YORK

Pakistani accused of lying about plot

NEW YORK — A Pakistani man was charged yesterday with lying to the FBI about a bogus terrorist plot to destroy the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

Tanveer Choudhry, 32, who had a pending application for asylum in the United States, reportedly concocted the story to win favor from authorities. He was charged with making false statements and awaited arraignment in federal court.

Court papers say Mr. Choudhry contacted the FBI on Oct. 1 to report that a customer at the gas station where he worked tried to enlist him in an attack on the bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Staten Island. He said the customer and unidentified “brothers” wanted to hijack two gasoline trucks to “burn the bridge,” and offered him $5,000 to join the plot.

On Oct. 5, after being given a polygraph test, Mr. Choudhry admitted he lied, authorities said.

PENNSYLVANIA

New charges filed in graft scandal

PHILADELPHIA — Federal prosecutors announced more charges yesterday in a Philadelphia corruption scandal whose defendants include the former city treasurer, a prominent supporter of Mayor John F. Street and two Commerce Bank executives.

Ronald A. White, a Philadelphia lawyer and fund-raiser for the mayor, is newly charged with making false statements to Commerce Bank to obtain $1.7 million in loans to purchase a house in Naples, Fla.

Commerce Bank executives Glenn Holck and Stephen Umbrell approved the loans without verifying the source of a down payment, said U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan. The two men are charged with providing loans to Mr. White and his associates in return for Mr. White’s assistance in getting the city business from former City Treasurer Corey Kemp, who faces three new charges of filing false tax returns.

TEXAS

Gas pipeline breaks, forces evacuation

HOUSTON — A natural-gas pipeline ruptured early yesterday, shaking suburban homes and generating a vapor cloud that forced the brief evacuation of dozens of residents. No one was hurt.

Authorities said a cloud of gas began spewing from a 6-inch gash in a pipeline owned by Trunk Line Gas Co. in the Cypress-Fairbanks area shortly after 1:30 a.m. The cause of the rupture was not known.

“A lot of people rushed outside in the subdivisions after hearing explosions, not knowing what they were,” said constable’s office Capt. Mark Herman. “But the leak has since been cut off.”

WISCONSIN

Man sentenced in bomb-threat case

MADISON — A man unhappy with the food service on Amtrak was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for making calls from his cellular phone saying there was a bomb on the train he was riding.

“I apologize for the actions that I did and I’m sorry,” Michael Conwill, 35, of Anchorage, Alaska, told U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb before she sentenced him Tuesday. He also was ordered to pay more than $28,000 to Amtrak to cover its costs.

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