- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 2, 2005

HAWAII

Schools’ policy ruled unlawful

HONOLULU — A federal appeals court yesterday struck down the exclusive Kamehameha Schools’ policy of admitting only Native Hawaiians.

A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the practice at the private schools violates a federal law against racial discrimination in the making and enforcing of contracts.

The case was brought by an unidentified non-Hawaiian student who was turned down for admission in 2003.

The Kamehameha Schools were established under the 1884 will of a Hawaiian princess to educate “the children of Hawaii.” Three campuses are partly funded by a trust now worth $6.2 billion.

ILLINOIS

Famine linked to schizophrenia

CHICAGO — Children born during China’s 1959-61 famine were twice as likely to develop schizophrenia, confirming a link between nutritional deficiency and the mental illness, researchers said yesterday.

Schizophrenia afflicts roughly 1 percent of the global population and tends to run in families, but the incidence of the illness has been found to have doubled during famines in China and the Netherlands.

The Chinese findings mirrored those from an earlier study of schizophrenia rates among people born in the Netherlands during the “Dutch Hunger Winter” of 1944 and 1945.

Researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, examined records from across the city of Wuhu in Anhui Province, where the famine was acute and people starved to death in large numbers. The famine followed a season of bad weather and rural upheavals created by the government’s “Great Leap Forward.”

MAINE

Lighthouse marked as easternmost point

LUBEC — A granite marker has been dedicated recognizing West Quoddy Head Lighthouse as the easternmost point in the United States.

The marker stands next to the 49-foot lighthouse, which was built in 1808. The lighthouse is known for its colorful red-and-white candy stripes.

MISSISSIPPI

College luresnurses to teach

JACKSON — Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is thinking creatively to deal with a shortage of nursing instructors. The school is considering offering reverse sabbaticals, in which practicing nurses can teach on a part-time basis.

The school must have a 1-to-10 teacher-to-student ratio to maintain accreditation.

NEW JERSEY

Police, parents faulted in boys’ deaths

CAMDEN — Police failed to follow proper procedures as they searched for three missing boys, neglecting a national group’s recommendations to look immediately in enclosed spaces such as car trunks, a report released yesterday said.

The report also faulted parents of the children for waiting three hours to call police, and for not disclosing during the massive search that one of the boys previously had played in the trunk of the car that was parked in the yard where they had been seen last.

Anibal Cruz, 11; Daniel Agosto, 6; and Jesstin Pagan, 5, were found dead in the car’s trunk after two days of searching. They vanished June 22 from the yard of the Cruz home. An autopsy concluded that they were alive for hours while the search continued.

NORTH CAROLINA

Two killed as train strikes truck, derails

RALEIGH — An Amtrak passenger train struck a dump truck loaded with gravel and derailed yesterday, killing two persons, police said.

Both of the persons who died were in the dump truck, said police spokesman Jim Sughrue.

No serious injuries were reported among the 180 passengers and crew on the train, he said.

The collision knocked the train’s engine and two lead cars off the tracks, said Bryant Woodall, the assistant fire chief. The northbound train, the Carolinian, was coming from Charlotte and was headed for New York.

NORTH DAKOTA

Prosecutors get OK for death penalty

FARGO — Federal prosecutors can proceed with seeking the death penalty for a convicted sex offender charged with kidnapping college student Dru Sjodin, a judge ruled.

There has not been an execution in North Dakota in nearly a century.

Attorneys for Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. argued that the prosecution’s intent to use aggravating factors to prove its case should have been spelled out in a grand jury indictment accusing Rodriguez of kidnapping Miss Sjodin and causing her death. Instead, prosecutors told Rodriguez’s defense attorneys in a separate notice afterward.

In his ruling late last week, U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson said the federal death penalty law’s lack of detail in spelling out the grand jury’s role in death penalty cases does not make it unconstitutional.

Rodriguez has pleaded not guilty to a charge of kidnapping resulting in the death of Miss Sjodin, 22, a University of North Dakota student who disappeared in November 2003 after leaving her job in Grand Forks. Her body was found five months later in a ravine near Crookston, Minn., where Rodriguez was living with his mother.

OREGON

Law gives worms tax-exempt status

OREGON CITY — Worm rancher Dan Holcombe is finally getting some respect, along with his squiggly, slithering livestock.

Worm wrangling is right up there with cattle ranching and wheat farming, at least in Oregon. A bill signed last week by Gov. Theodore R. Kulongoski, a Democrat, will add worms to the state’s list of tax-exempt farm products.

TEXAS

Newborn found in Houston alley

HOUSTON — A newborn has been placed in temporary state custody after a video-game store employee found her lying in an alley at a Houston shopping center.

Chris Patten, a 19-year-old employee at Cyberium gaming center, was taking out the trash Sunday afternoon when he spotted the infant on a blanket.

He thought it was a doll at first, but when he moved closer the baby began to move her arms, the Houston Chronicle reported. Mr. Patten went inside to get his boss, who called for help.

The infant was taken to Columbia West Houston Medical Center, where she was listed in stable condition.

WASHINGTON

Wildfire poses threat to homes

LEAVENWORTH — A wildfire threatening about 140 homes had grown to more than 1,000 acres yesterday near Lake Wenatchee in central Washington, fire officials said.

Seventy-five homes already had been evacuated and residents of 70 other homes scattered in the area had been warned they also might have to leave, Forest Service spokeswoman Robin DeMario said. The initial evacuations were ordered Monday when flames moved to within 100 yards of some houses.

The fire was in grass, brush and timber on steep terrain on the southern face of Dirtyface Mountain in Chelan County, about 10 miles northeast of Stevens Pass and 18 miles northwest of Leavenworth.

The blaze, thought to have started Saturday evening by a fire in a mobile home, was reported 10 percent contained Monday evening, according to the Central Washington Area Incident Management Team.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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