- The Washington Times - Monday, September 20, 2004

DELAWARE

Raped counselor blames mismanagement

WILMINGTON, Del. — A counselor who was taken hostage and raped by an inmate in July harshly criticized Delaware’s Department of Correction, saying it is plagued by mismanagement and inadequate, often incompetent, staffing.

In her first public comments since the attack, Cassandra Arnold lashed out at the governor, the prison warden and the guards on duty when she was seized.

“There are a lot of people’s lives that are in jeopardy,” said Miss Arnold, 27. “Inmates aren’t safe, and the staff aren’t safe.”

DOC spokeswoman Gail Stallings Minor said the department will not comment until it completes an internal investigation. “We know she’s been through a lot,” she said.

Miss Arnold barely survived the harrowing ordeal at the Delaware Correctional Center in Smyrna, which lasted almost seven hours and ended with the shooting death of her attacker, serial rapist Scott Miller, 45.

NEW YORK

Photographer Adams dies

NEW YORK — Eddie Adams, a photojournalist whose half-century of arresting work was defined by a single frame — a Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photo of a communist guerrilla being executed on a Saigon street during the Vietnam war — died yesterday. He was 71.

Mr. Adams died at his Manhattan home from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, said his assistant.

In addition to his photographs of 13 wars, Mr. Adams’ images of politics, fashion and show business appeared on countless magazine covers and in newspapers around the world.

ALASKA

Mom charged in school assault

ANCHORAGE — Police arrested a woman who slammed into an assistant principal at Central Middle School’s open house last week, apparently because she was upset about the school’s anti-bullying policies.

Deborah Meister, 46, is charged with misdemeanor assault. Police spokesman Ron McGee said she contacted police and surrendered herself after learning that a warrant had been issued. She was arrested without incident, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

ARKANSAS

Farmer found guilty of harassing gays

CONWAY — A farmer who dumped 3 tons of manure on the route of a homosexual-pride parade to protest the event was found guilty last week of misdemeanor harassment.

Wesley Bono, 35, was sentenced to 30 days in jail, but the judge suspended the sentence as long as Mr. Bono makes regular payments for restitution and court costs.

Mr. Bono admitted spreading the manure along two city streets and in front of a homosexual couple’s home. He pleaded not guilty Aug. 2, saying he was exercising his right of free speech.

CALIFORNIA

‘Palimony’ lawyer Mitchelson dies at 76

LOS ANGELES — Divorce lawyer Marvin M. Mitchelson, who pioneered the legal revolution known as “palimony” and represented scores of Hollywood clients in high-profile, big-money marital disputes, has died. He was 76.

Mr. Mitchelson died Saturday after a battle against cancer at the Rehabilitation Center of Beverly Hills, his longtime publicist said.

The Marvin vs. Marvin palimony case made him a household name in the 1970s. Mr. Mitchelson won a $104,000 award for Michelle Triola Marvin, the live-in lover of actor Lee Marvin.

COLORADO

Missing baby found safe

DENVER — A missing 18-month-old boy from Burlington, Colo., who triggered an Amber Alert on Friday, was found safe in Denver.

A tip by a driver who gave the boy’s aunt, Pricella Miller, and the child a ride led to Miller’s arrest Saturday, the Colorado Bureau of Information said.

CBI said Miller, who recently escaped from a youth correctional facility, believed the child was hers, KMGH-TV in Denver reported.

The boy’s biological mother had been worried that her son, Christopher Headley, who weighs about 30 pounds, needed medication for asthma, police said.

CONNECTICUT

Wedding couples watch their steps

VOLUNTOWN — Couples with cold feet can back out of a wedding in one step at a Connecticut church.

The Church of Christ sits atop Ekonk Hill Road, straddling the town line for Voluntown and Sterling. It’s also on the New London County-Windham County border.

Couples have to ensure they’re standing on the correct side of the building during the wedding ceremony so that they’re in the town that issued their marriage license. Otherwise, the marriage is not legally binding, the Rev. Ron Fleet said.

The boundary is determined by the middle divider in the center pews, and for years, young lovers have obeyed.

When Arlene Berchem married Paul Sweet in 1979, the Norwich Bulletin published a photograph of Mr. Sweet motioning to her to step over to the Sterling side so that their marriage would be legal.

GEORGIA

Report says inmates labored illegally

SYLVANIA — A sheriff in eastern Georgia illegally used inmate labor for private purposes, including making repairs at his home and working on his re-election campaign, a newspaper reported yesterday.

Sheriff Mike Kile of Screven County also routinely sent inmates to work at local churches, private organizations and the homes of his deputies — an abuse of the inmates’ civil rights and a violation of state law, the Augusta Chronicle reported.

Under state law, inmates may work only on public grounds, such as roads, parks and government buildings, not on private property.

HAWAII

Ex-Miss Hawaii facing drug charge

HONOLULU — A former Miss Hawaii USA, shackled and unkempt, appeared in court last week on charges that she was dealing crystal methamphetamine in her neighborhood.

Judge Yvonne R. Shinmura set bail at $15,000 for Tiffini Hercules, 30, who had competed in the 1998 Miss USA competition. A preliminary hearing was set for today.

Mrs. Hercules and her husband John Limahai Jr. were arrested Tuesday in a police raid at their Kailua home.

She was charged with promoting a dangerous drug, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Her husband was charged with promoting a dangerous drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $25,000.

Mrs. Hercules, who once represented Hawaii with her beauty, appeared in court with shackles around her ankles.

MICHIGAN

Millions awarded in after-school help

DETROIT — Fifteen struggling schools will receive a total of $12 million in state grants to support after-school programs. The money, which will be doled out over five years, was announced by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and other officials.

Each school selected had failed to meet math and reading standards.

MISSOURI

Man shoots ex-girlfriend, self

ST. LOUIS — A man fatally shot his ex-girlfriend in the middle of a grocery store Friday before turning the gun on himself, police said.

Police Capt. David Dorn said the shootings occurred at a small neighborhood store on the city’s south side. The names of the victims, a 40-year-old woman and 39-year-old man, were not released.

NEVADA

Plane to be tested for fighting fires

MINDEN — Minden Air Corp. will be testing a British-made airplane to determine its worthiness for fighting wildfires. The BAe 146-100 aircraft was scheduled to arrive during the weekend at Minden-Tahoe Airport.

Built in the 1980s, the plane designed to carry passengers will be evaluated by company officials, U.S. Forest Service and British Aerospace representatives.

PENNSYLVANIA

Golfer hit in face loses court case

CARLISLE — A golfer plunked in the face by an errant ball was unable to convince a jury that the man who hit him had been negligent for failing to yell “Fore.”

James A. Tomkins said fellow golfer George Long didn’t yell the standard warning when he hit a wayward shot on the Cumberland Golf Course in 1999.

The ball hit Mr. Tomkins in the right eye, knocking him out of his golf cart.

Jurors deliberated two hours last week before deciding that Mr. Long had not been negligent. Mr. Long who said he did yell a warning, said golfers in Pennsylvania would be happy with the verdict.

“When you play golf, you take a risk,” he said.

TENNESSEE

Opry singer Davis dies at 72

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Skeeter Davis, who hit the top of the pop charts with “The End of the World” in 1963 and sang on the Grand Ole Opry radio show for more than 40 years, died yesterday of cancer. She was 72.

Miss Davis died at a Nashville hospice, said a Grand Ole Opry publicist. The singer had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988 and had a recurrence in 1996.

A native of Dry Ridge, Ky., Miss Davis was born Mary Frances Penick. She took the name Skeeter Davis in the 1950s when she became half of the Davis Sisters duet. She began a solo career after her duet partner, Betty Jack Davis, was killed in a 1953 car wreck. Skeeter Davis was critically injured in the same accident.

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