- The Washington Times - Friday, August 5, 2005

Judge mulls local law used against illegals

A judge in New Hampshire yesterday heard arguments on whether local police could charge illegal aliens with trespassing, and promised to issue a written order in the next few weeks.

The case gained national attention as local authorities have taken an interest in trying to do something about illegal immigration. Police in Hudson and New Ipswich issued citations to at least 10 illegal aliens, arguing that state law defines trespassing broadly enough to apply to encompass those in the country illegally.

The police chiefs say they have an obligation to uphold the law since the federal government has not done its job to prevent the illegal aliens from entering the country.

But lawyers for the aliens said the Constitution does not allow the aliens to be charged with trespassing, and said states have no right to enforce immigration laws. “The prosecution basically told immigrants they’re not welcome in the town of Hudson, so we’re going to tell our clients don’t go to the town of Hudson,” said Mona T. Movafaghi, the lawyer whose firm is representing many of the aliens.

The cases have gone before Judge L. Phillips Runyon III, who heard arguments yesterday on charges against a handful of aliens. The judge could have ruled from the bench yesterday, but said he will instead issue a written order in the case.

Bomb note found on Southwest plane

HOUSTON — A note found in a Southwest Airlines seat pocket claiming a bomb was on the plane prompted a landing and evacuation of 136 passengers. No one was injured and no explosives had been found as of yesterday afternoon.

Law-enforcement agencies interviewed and re-screened passengers while bomb-sniffing dogs searched the plane at an isolated end of Houston’s Hobby Airport.

FBI spokesman Al Tribble said he didn’t have the exact wording of the note, but “it definitely announced there’s a bomb on the plane.”

A passenger found the note in the seat pocket on the flight from Dallas to Houston, which was scheduled to then go on to Corpus Christi, Texas. It was not clear whether the note was written on that flight or had been left on a previous flight, Mr. Tribble said.

Hobby Airport is the smaller of Houston’s two major airports, handling only domestic flights.

Boy dies from water parasite

TULSA, Okla. — One boy died yesterday and a second was sickened by a rare parasite associated with swimming in stagnant water, health officials said.

The boys, ages 9 and 7, did not know each other but were both believed to have been swimming in area ponds before contracting Naegleria, an amoeba that enters the body through the nose and can cause a deadly inflammation of the brain.

Three city pools were closed yesterday for testing, although health officials doubt the boys contracted the disease there.

Both boys came to doctors with symptoms of fever, hallucinations and headaches, Tulsa Health Department spokeswoman Melanie Christian said.

Of the 200 known cases of Naegleria in the past 40 years, only two persons have survived, health officials said.

Hurricane forecaster predicts 20 storms

MIAMI — Hurricane forecaster William Gray said yesterday he expects 20 named tropical storms in the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, revising his earlier prediction of 15.

The Colorado State University professor’s forecast is the second to be revised upward this week. On Tuesday, the National Weather Service predicted 18 to 21 tropical storms by the end of November.

There has already been an unprecedented number of storms — with eight storms, including two hurricanes — in the 2005 hurricane season.

Mr. Gray’s prediction calls for 20 named storms, including 10 hurricanes and six major hurricanes, with top sustained winds of at least 111 mph.

That’s more than twice the long-term average of 9.6 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 intense hurricanes per year. Tropical storms get names once they reach 39 mph. A storm becomes a hurricane when winds reach 74 mph.

From staff reports and wire service dispatches.

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