- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 13, 2005

GEORGIA

Christmas keeps coming for boy

CANTON — Christmas is still going strong for 14-year-old Nick Waters.

When the boy’s church asked what he wanted for Christmas, Nick, who cannot talk and was born with no arms, slowly typed his reply with his feet: Lots of Christmas cards. Ten thousand of them. More than two weeks after Christmas, he has more than 130,000 cards — and they are still coming.

“To see him the month of December, it was like a different child. His color looks good. It was the best Christmas ever,” said Nick’s mother, Penny Waters.

MISSISSIPPI

Slaying suspect freed on bail

PHILADELPHIA — Edgar Ray Killen, the reputed Klansman charged with killing three civil rights workers in Mississippi more than four decades ago, was freed on $250,000 bail yesterday as he awaits a March 28 trial.

Within hours of a brief hearing at which the bail and trial date were set, the 79-year-old, part-time preacher traded in his jail jumpsuit for a blue plaid shirt, pants and a Western-style hat and left the jail with members of his family.

Mr. Killen is the only person to face state charges in the killings that focused national attention on the violence associated with the civil rights movement in the South.

James Chaney, a 21-year-old black Mississippian, and two white New Yorkers, Andrew Goodman, 20, and Michael Schwerner, 24, were ambushed, beaten and shot.

ALASKA

Electricity back in Arctic village

ANCHORAGE — Electricity was restored to most homes in an Arctic village yesterday, four days after the community lost power in a fierce blizzard and was thrown into the deep freeze.

Drifting snow prevented a cargo plane from landing in Kaktovik, a village of 300 people more than 200 miles above the Arctic Circle. But an Alaska Air National Guard helicopter delivered technicians and equipment on Tuesday.

Within a day, the technicians were able to restore electricity to about three-quarters of the village. The outage may have been caused by power lines slapping together and arcing during the storm, officials said.

The cargo plane planned trying again to land yesterday afternoon. It was carrying mechanics and sewer and water technicians, as well as generators, portable lights, heaters and power cables.

ARKANSAS

Hunter waves briefs to alert rescuers

ROGERS — There is another reason Mom is right when she says you always should have a fresh pair of underwear. A city lawyer learned last week that they can attract rescue helicopters.

Ben Lipscomb found himself lost in the flooded backwoods this week while duck hunting with his Labrador retriever.

He managed to make it out by tying his white briefs to the end of his gun barrel and waving them at an Arkansas State Police helicopter.

“They had passed over me a couple of times,” he said after he was back at his City Hall desk. “I knew I had to do something to get their attention.”

Mr. Lipscomb had been in the flooded timberland near Hollowell Reservoir for about 12 hours when he was rescued. To survive, he drank dirty bayou water and ate a raw duck breast.

CALIFORNIA

Jackson judge won’t hold hearing in secret

SANTA MARIA — The judge in the Michael Jackson child-molestation case ruled yesterday that arguments over whether the jury can hear evidence of prior sexual offenses by the singer will be held in open court.

The ruling by Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville was a victory for the press and the prosecution. Both opposed a defense request to take up the matter behind closed doors.

The judge said he will schedule the arguments after the jury is selected. Jury selection begins Jan. 31.

COLORADO

6 injured as Amtrak hits boulder, derails

MACK — An Amtrak train derailed after running into a pickup-sized boulder, authorities said. Six persons were injured, none seriously.

The California Zephyr struck the 12-by-12-foot boulder late Tuesday just west of Grand Junction, Mesa County sheriff’s spokeswoman Susan McBurney said.

The train was en route from Chicago to suburban Oakland, Calif., with more than 100 people on board.

Three engines and three to five cars went off the tracks in Ruby Canyon, Miss McBurney said. The site is near the Utah state line.

INDIANA

1 killed, several hurt in pileup in fog

HOWE — At least 20 vehicles crashed into one another amid thick fog on an Indiana highway yesterday, killing at least one person and injuring several, police said.

State Police Sgt. Rodger Popplewell said he did not know the number or severity of the injuries. Hospitals reported admitting at least seven persons from the crash.

The pileup prompted police to close the highway in both directions in the area, about 40 miles east of South Bend.

The National Weather Service issued a dense-fog advisory for the area, saying visibility could be less than a quarter-mile.

MAINE

Builders to replicate historic ship

ROCKPORT — Boat builders are replicating one of the three ships that carried settlers to Virginia in 1607 to establish the first permanent English settlement in the New World.

Rockport Marine is building the 88-foot Godspeed for the Jamestown settlement’s living-history museum. The $2.2 million ship is expected to be completed next year.

MASSACHUSETTS

Man permitted to keep lighted shrine

PEPPERELL — A judge has ruled that a man can keep the illuminated, three-story shrine in his back yard that he says he was instructed to build by the Virgin Mary.

Officials in this rural town on the Massachusetts-New Hampshire state line ordered Noel Dube, 85, to remove the shrine in 1999, saying he didn’t have the proper permits. Neighbors had complained about its size and the thousands of visitors it attracted annually.

Instead, Mr. Dube, a Roman Catholic, expanded it, adding a 30-foot painting of Jesus and a 24-foot illuminated cross to a 20-foot mural of Our Lady of Fatima.

Last week, Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fishman ruled that the shrine can stay. He ruled the structures are clearly used for religious purposes and are of reasonable size.

MISSOURI

McDonald baby born at a McDonald’s

UNION — Ann McDonald knew the baby was coming and there wasn’t a hospital in sight, so she pulled over and delivered the child outside — appropriately enough — a McDonald’s restaurant.

Chayse Westin McDonald was due yesterday. But on Sunday, Ann McDonald knew her time was getting near — and fast.

Mrs. McDonald, whose husband is fighting in Iraq, and the child’s grandmother, Linda Cuneio, got in the car, but it soon became evident they wouldn’t make it to a hospital. So they pulled over at a McDonald’s in Union. The baby was born beneath the golden arches.

“Of course, everyone is like, ‘Are you going to name him Ronald?’” Mrs. McDonald said.

NEW YORK

Pair arrested after telling lawyer jokes

HEMPSTEAD — Did you hear the one about the two guys arrested for telling lawyer jokes?

It happened this week to the founders of a group called Americans for Legal Reform, who were waiting in line to get into a Long Island courthouse.

“How do you tell when a lawyer is lying?” Harvey Kash reportedly asked Carl Lanzisera.

“His lips are moving,” they said in unison.

Although some waiting to get into the courthouse giggled, a lawyer farther up the line Monday was not laughing.

He told them to pipe down, and when they did not, reported the pair to court personnel, who charged them with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

OHIO

Teen electrocuted by power lines

CHARDON — A 17-year-old Amish boy was fatally shocked trying to remove a power line that got tangled in his horse-drawn buggy’s wheels, authorities said.

The boy drove over a power line Tuesday that had sagged down within a foot of the road after separating from a pole, authorities said. The line got stuck in the wheels and stopped the buggy.

The horse pulling the buggy was not injured.

RHODE ISLAND

Sleepy doctors hazardous on roads

PROVIDENCE — Overworked, sleepy doctors-in-training who hit the road after work are as much a hazard as drunken drivers, a finding that could unleash a wave of lawsuits against U.S. hospitals, a researcher warned yesterday.

According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine this week, medical interns who worked shifts lasting 24 hours or more were twice as likely to be involved in serious crashes after work than doctors who put in fewer hours.

Just as bartenders are now being held liable for accidents caused by drunken customers, hospitals, which routinely schedule interns to work double, triple or quadruple shifts, soon may find themselves sued for motor-vehicle accidents caused by exhausted staff, said one of the researcher in the study, led by Harvard Medical School’s Charles Czeisler, an authority on sleep.

TEXAS

Iraq abuse suspect said to defy orders

FORT HOOD — The first witness for Army Spc. Charles Graner, the purported ringleader in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse case, said under cross-examination yesterday that Spc. Graner routinely disobeyed orders while serving as a guard there.

The testimony from Master Sgt. Brian Lipinski could undermine Spc. Graner’s contention that he was just following orders to soften up Iraqi inmates for interrogation.

Sgt. Lipinski, then the top noncommissioned officer in the 372nd Military Police Company, said Spc. Graner wore his hair too long, altered his uniform in violation of regulations and refused to stay away from Pfc. Lynndie England despite being told repeatedly to do so.

Pfc. England, who is awaiting trial on Abu Ghraib abuse charges, gave birth in October to a child who Army prosecutors say was fathered by Spc. Graner.

Spc. Graner, a 36-year-old reservist from Uniontown, Pa., is the first soldier to stand trial in the scandal. He is charged with offenses including conspiracy, assault and committing indecent acts and could get 17 years in a military prison.

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