- The Washington Times - Monday, April 18, 2005

COLORADO

Man resuscitates drowned chicken

COLLBRAN — First, there was Mike the Headless Chicken, a rooster that survived for 18 months after having its head lopped off with an ax in 1945.

Now, western Colorado has a new chicken survival story, this one involving a man who says he saved his fowl by giving it mouth-to-beak resuscitation.

Uegene Safken says one of the chickens in his young flock had gotten into a tub of water in the yard and appeared to have died.

Mr. Safken said he first swung the chicken by the feet to revive it. When that failed, he continued swinging and blowing into its beak. The chicken’s beak opened a little wider, and Mr. Safken started yelling at it: “You’re too young to die.”

“Every time I’d yell at him, he’d chirp,” Mr. Safken said.

CONNECTICUT

Governor lifts state hiring freeze

HARTFORD — Gov. M. Jodi Rell lifted a hiring freeze she imposed in January, allowing state agencies today to begin filling immediate staffing needs and hiring seasonal help.

The governor said that with summer coming, the state needs help at its parks and beaches. A ban on out-of-state travel for state employees remains in effect.

HAWAII

Wholphin gives birth in captivity

HONOLULU — The only whale-dolphin mix in captivity has given birth to a playful female calf, officials at Sea Life Park Hawaii said Thursday.

The calf was born Dec. 23 to Kekaimalu, a mix of a false killer whale and an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin. Park officials said they waited to announce the birth until now because of recent changes in ownership and operations at the park.

The young as-yet unnamed wholphin is one-fourth false killer whale and three-fourths Atlantic bottlenose dolphin. Her slick skin is an even blend of a dolphin’s light gray and the black coloring of a false killer whale.

She is jumbo-sized compared to purebred dolphins and is already the size of a 1-year-old bottlenose.

“Mother and calf are doing very well,” said Dr. Renato Lenzi, general manager of Sea Life Park by Dolphin Discovery.

ILLINOIS

Woman convicted of killing adopted son

ROLLING MEADOWS — A jury convicted a suburban Chicago woman Friday night of killing her 6-year-old son, who died weeks after she and her husband adopted the boy from Russia.

Irma Pavlis, 33, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. She was acquitted of the more serious charge of first-degree murder, said state’s attorney’s spokesman Tom Stanton.

In a case closely watched in Russia, she admitted that she slapped, punched and shook the boy, named Alex, before he died in December 2003.

The woman’s attorneys contended that although she bruised the boy while disciplining him, she did not cause the brain injuries that killed him. They said the boy suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome because of his mother’s heavy drinking during pregnancy.

They argued that the condition led to the boy’s uncontrollable violent episodes, during which he would slam his head against a wall or throw himself to the ground — causing the fatal brain injuries.

LOUISIANA

Angler catches monster catfish

BATON ROUGE — Keith Day Sr. has a fish story about the big one that didn’t get away.

Mr. Day was fishing one of his favorite spots along the Mississippi River near St. Francisville, La., April 8 and wasn’t having much luck — until he hooked something.

Mr. Day knew he had a huge catch on the end of his line, but he wasn’t prepared for the monster catfish he reeled in. The fish weighed more than 110 pounds on a state-certified scale.

If officials confirm the catch, Mr. Day will have the new Louisiana catfish record.

“I’ve spent a lifetime looking for a fish like this,” Mr. Day said. “My dreams have come true.”

MISSISSIPPI

Officials issue West Nile warning

JACKSON — The state department of health is warning residents to “West Nile-proof” their homes by removing items that can catch and store rainwater, such as flower pots, clogged rain gutters and buckets.

Last year, four persons died in Mississippi of the mosquito-borne virus, compared with two deaths in 2003.

NEW JERSEY

Lawyers charged as ambulance chasers

TRENTON — Two lawyers and their firm are the first to be charged under New Jersey’s six-year-old ambulance chaser law.

Irwin Seligsohn and Allen Goldberger were accused of paying people a total of $65,000 to look for motor-vehicle accident victims. State law forbids the use of so-called “runners” to drum up business.

NORTH CAROLINA

Students elect Pirate Captain

RALEIGH — Aye, matey! The Pirate Captain is the student government president at North Carolina State University.

Will Piavis ran under the name of Pirate Captain and won a runoff election, with nearly 59 percent of the vote. As the results were read, his supporters chanted his name and wore pirate hats from Long John Silver’s restaurant.

Mr. Piavis said the pirate persona was a good way to get students interested in campus politics, and he plans to continue using it.

His supporters point to high voter turnout as evidence that he will be good for the school. Others were disturbed by what they saw as a lack of substance.

OREGON

Court calls addiction disorder, not disease

SALEM — Drug and alcohol dependence should properly be classified as personality disorders, not mental diseases, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled.

The decision may place new limits on the right of accused criminals to plead guilty by reason of insanity. Under state law, criminals currently found guilty “except for insanity” are sent to the State Hospital instead of jail.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Massive wave forces cruise ship to dock

CHARLESTON — A seven-story-high wave damaged a cruise ship returning from the Bahamas over the weekend, smashing windows, flooding more than 60 cabins and injuring four passengers.

The Norwegian Dawn was diverted from its route when the ship ran into rough weather on the way back to New York. The 965-foot-long vessel was docked in the Charleston harbor by late Saturday afternoon for repairs, officials said.

“The ship was hit by a freak wave that caused two windows to break in two different cabins,” Norwegian Cruise Line said. It said 62 cabins flooded and four passengers had cuts and bruises. The wave reached as high as deck 10 on the ship, company spokeswoman Susan Robison said yesterday.

The ship’s hull was damaged, but the vessel was not taking on water, said Keith Moore of the Coast Guard Group Charleston.

WYOMING

Yellowstone to change wildlife policy

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — Park officials are making changes to better protect animals after at least seven bears died last year, officials said.

Park Superintendent Suzanne Lewis appointed a committee to recommend ways to reduce wildlife fatalities after one bear was shot by a usually nonlethal firecracker bullet and six others were hit by vehicles.

This year, the park will use a wider array of nonlethal projectiles, including bean-bag bullets, to scare bears away from public places, officials said.

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