- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 13, 2005

KANSAS

School wins bid to research global warming

LAWRENCE — A new federally funded center will give the University of Kansas a prominent role in researching global warming, the melting of polar ice caps and their effect on the world’s climate.

The National Science Foundation awarded the university almost $19 million to finance operations at the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets over the next five years. Announced Monday, it is the largest federal grant any Kansas university has ever received.

The research will involve NASA and more than 40 scientists from 10 universities. The center hopes to help scientists better understand climate change, how melting ice caps affect sea levels and how changing sea levels will affect nations’ populations and economies.

Officials said the center will create new technology for studying polar ice caps, then develop new ways to interpret the data.

KENTUCKY

Mining forced woman into shed

MARTIN — An eastern Kentucky woman who says she had to live in a toolshed for nearly two years because mining activity drove her out of her mobile home goes to court next month in her lawsuit against a coal company.

Beatrice Turner, 65, said she had no choice but to move out because mining turned her lawn into a bog and filled her home with mold that made her sick.

In a trial set to begin May 9, Mrs. Turner, the widow of a United Baptist minister, will seek an unspecified amount of damages from the Koch Victory division of C. Reiss Coal Co. of Richlands, Va. Her attorney estimates the cost of repairing the mobile home and property at more than $66,000.

ALABAMA

Lawmakers taking a day off

MONTGOMERY — Most Alabama legislators will take a day off with pay today — some to play golf, some to catch up on their regular jobs and some just to cool off for a day during a contentious session.

The House and Senate normally meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays and hold committee meetings on Wednesdays. Speaker Seth Hammett said that, at the request of the Democratic and Republican caucuses, no House committee meetings will be held today.

He said it is not unusual to give members a day off during a session so the Democratic and Republican caucuses can hold activities. Ten meeting days remain in the 30-day session.

ARIZONA

Houses discouraged near Goldwater range

YUMA — A state Commerce Department study has recommended that Yuma allow no residential development within a mile of the Barry M. Goldwater Range and that the city manage density within three miles of the area.

The 2.7-million-acre Goldwater range is used by Marine and Air Force aviators for training. The recommendations aren’t binding, but military officials hope the advice will be followed.

CONNECTICUT

Yale chapel cuts denominational ties

NEW HAVEN — Yale University has announced it is dropping the religious affiliation of its Battell Chapel, ending a 248-year-old tradition at the institution.

Yale was established in 1701 by Congregational ministers, and in 1757, the current congregation — the United Church of Christ, a successor of the Congregationalists — was formed. In 1876, members of that church moved into the current chapel.

But in a series of moves Yale says is intended to make the university more open to students of all faiths, Battell Chapel will end the affiliation with the United Church of Christ in July, the New York Times reported yesterday.

Churchgoers won’t have to go far to find United Church of Christ services. The Times said two of the domination’s churches are within 500 yards of Battell Chapel.

DELAWARE

More grandparents raising children

DOVER — The number of Delaware grandparents stepping in as parents to their grandchildren is rising. More than 8,000 grandparents or other relatives are raising children younger than 18 — a 31 percent increase in a decade.

The state’s Division of Aging and Disabilities says the causes include the parents’ incarceration, substance abuse problems, HIV and AIDS.

FLORIDA

Fearful teens snatch keys from limo driver

MIAMI — Ten Florida teenagers who hired a limousine to give them a safe ride to their prom party instead snatched the keys from the chauffeur after she drove erratically — and found a bottle of vodka in her seat.

The teens said Christina Tomacelli, 49, rushed through stop signs, cut off other drivers and even drove on the wrong side of the road, the Orlando Sentinel newspaper reported yesterday.

One of the teens used his cell phone to call his father, who urged them to get the chauffeur to pull over. When she stopped, the teens pulled the keys out of the ignition.

When police arrived, they found the half-empty bottle of vodka in the driver’s seat and arrested Miss Tomacelli on charges of drunken driving and refusing to take a blood-alcohol test, the newspaper reported.

GEORGIA

Double-killing suspect arrested at strip mall

AUGUSTA — An ex-convict who collaborated with two professors on a book about life behind bars and vowed never to go back to prison was captured without incident yesterday after being accused of two slayings in South Carolina.

Stephen Stanko, 37, was arrested in a shopping center parking lot in Augusta, a day after authorities began a nationwide manhunt, police said. Authorities had been tipped that a truck they thought Stanko was driving had been seen in the lot.

“He did not look dangerous at all,” said Marcie Crown, manager of the Atlanta Bread Co. restaurant where Stanko had just eaten lunch when he was arrested.

Stanko is suspected of killing Laura Ling, 43, a librarian who lived with him outside Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Henry Lee Turner, 74. Stanko has served about 8 years of a 10-year prison sentence for kidnapping. He was released less than a year ago.

He was charged with two counts of murder and one count of rape in South Carolina, and with a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, officials said.

INDIANA

Daylight-saving time in legislative limbo

INDIANAPOLIS — Statewide daylight-saving time has lived to see another day in the Indiana General Assembly.

Even though it has been rescued twice, it is far from certain whether it can survive the final three weeks of the legislative session and land on the desk of its biggest backer — Gov. Mitch Daniels.

The new Republican governor has made adopting statewide daylight-saving time one of his legislative priorities, saying it would eliminate confusion and boost commerce. Indiana is split on the issue: 77 counties in the Eastern time zone do not change clocks, but the other five counties do. The state also has 10 counties in the Central time zone, and they observe daylight-saving time.

After the bill failed to pass the House on a first vote Monday, Mr. Daniels and House Speaker Brian Bosma intensified their lobbying and won 51 votes needed to send the proposal to the Senate.

The bill likely must clear a House-Senate conference committee in revised form, win approval of the Senate Rules Committee and the full Senate, and then pass the House a second time.

NEW YORK

Assembly panel turns away death penalty

ALBANY — The Democrat-controlled Codes Committee of the state Assembly voted 11-7 yesterday not to send legislation aimed at reinstating New York’s death penalty to the full house, a move that effectively may kill the effort for this year.

Such legislation has been pushed hard by Gov. George E. Pataki, a Republican, and the state Senate’s Republican majority leader, Joseph Bruno. In March, the Republican-led Senate voted 37-22 in favor of a bill almost identical to the one rejected yesterday.

New York’s death penalty was reinstated in 1995 by the Legislature and Mr. Pataki, who had vowed to bring back capital punishment.

NORTH CAROLINA

Cyclist, city spar over tree hanging

RALEIGH — Harley-Davidson enthusiast Richard Woodworth has an unusual piece of art in his back yard, and it’s causing him a headache with the city of Raleigh.

It’s the gnarled metal of a wrecked motorcycle hanging in a tree.

In February, a city inspector walked on Mr. Woodworth’s wooded property and decided that the dangling metal fell under Raleigh’s code definition of a nuisance motor vehicle. But even though Mr. Woodworth lives a mile outside the city limits and has posted no-trespassing signs, he falls under city code enforcement.

For Mr. Woodworth, that meant receiving a city inspections letter telling him to pay a $100 administrative inspection fee and demanding that he remove the motorcycle.

Mr. Woodworth was among several residents last week who asked council members to rescind such fees.

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