- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 18, 2005

CALIFORNIA

Divers find woman’s body in stream

UPLAND — A dive team yesterday found the body of a 35-year-old woman who fell into a rain-swollen creek over the holiday weekend while trying to rescue her child, authorities said.

Search-and-rescue teams continued to search for Sibilina Flores’ 7-year-old son, Frank, who also was swept away by the raging San Antonio Creek.

Mrs. Flores, of El Monte, was found about a quarter-mile downstream from where she and her son were last seen on Monday, said Cindy Beavers, a spokeswoman with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Mrs. Flores fell into the creek while trying to save Frank, who slipped while washing his hands. The creek was moving as fast as 40 mph when they fell in, authorities said.

MASSACHUSETTS

Trial begins in church abuse case

CAMBRIDGE — Prosecutors formally dropped an accuser from the criminal case against defrocked priest Paul Shanley, leaving just one victim to testify in the trial that began yesterday for one of the most notorious figures in the Catholic sex-abuse scandal.

Prosecutors already had dropped two other accusers from the case and removed the third because they have been unable to find him since a hearing in October when he had difficulty remaining composed.

The witness’s removal leaves Mr. Shanley, 73, facing three charges of raping a child and two charges of indecent assault and battery on a child.

About 80 prospective jurors were questioned yesterday for the trial that is expected to last about two weeks. Four jurors — three men and one woman — were seated before proceedings ended for the day.

FLORIDA

Woman dies in balcony stunt

NORTH FORT MYERS — A woman fell to her death while trying to do a handstand on the railing of a second-floor hotel balcony, sheriff’s officials said.

Molly Jerman, 23, of Cape Coral died Sunday. While attempting a handstand, she toppled over and dropped to the hotel patio, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said.

Just before she fell, she had called out to a friend, “Watch to see what I can still do,” a police report said. Foul play is not thought to be involved, officials said.

GEORGIA

Black customers file discrimination lawsuit

ATLANTA — Black customers who claim discrimination at Waffle House restaurants in Georgia and Alabama filed federal lawsuits against the chain yesterday.

The coordinated lawsuits, which join two others filed last week in North Carolina and Virginia, claim servers announced they would not serve blacks, deliberately served unsanitary food to minority patrons, directed racial epithets at blacks and became verbally abusive when asked to wait on blacks.

Although plaintiffs’ attorneys said 20 discrimination cases already were pending against the Norcross, Ga.-based company, Waffle House said it has a policy to train workers “to treat all customers equally.”

Plaintiff Kendra Malone said a white worker at a Waffle House off Interstate 565 in Madison, Ala., began making what she considered racist remarks after she walked in with a cousin, his wife and a friend, all of whom were laughing and enjoying themselves after church.

Another plaintiff, Sharon Perry, 31, said a server required her to prepay for her meal at a Savannah, Ga., Waffle House.

HAWAII

Pygmy sperm whale is euthanized

KIHEI — Maui authorities say a mother pygmy sperm whale that beached herself on Maui was euthanized, while her calf was feared dead.

The whales were taken to the Koieie Fishpond at Kalepolepo for protection after they were found on the beach at Kealia.

ILLINOIS

Studies cite poor CPR methods

CHICAGO — Many caregivers perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) incorrectly and fail to restart stopped hearts by not adhering to strict guidelines governing the frequency and force of chest compressions, a pair of studies said yesterday.

Poor and outdated training or overly complicated instructions in CPR for paramedics, nurses and doctors may be to blame. One solution may be mechanical monitors to aid caregivers to adjust their techniques, one researcher suggested.

One study of heart attack victims in Stockholm, London and Akershus, Norway, found that paramedics and other caregivers failed to begin CPR quickly enough in nearly half the cases, which occurred outside the hospital.

Compressions often were applied too quickly and fewer than one-third of the compressions were performed with the requisite force. Also, breaths often were applied too frequently, said study author Lars Wik of Ulleval University Hospital in Oslo.

KANSAS

Officials secure site for museum

WICHITA — City officials have secured a riverfront site for a Kansas black culture museum, which could end up named for famed photographer Gordon Parks, a native of Fort Scott.

Mr. Parks, who now lives in New York, supports plans for the $19.5 million museum and has donated 29 photographs, valued at $1 million, to the project.

NEVADA

Vacationer hits $1.3 million jackpot

STATELINE — A Pennsylvania man is happy he didn’t stop to eat before hitting the slots here.

Stephen Phares was on a ski vacation when he hit a $1.3 million jackpot Saturday night at Harveys Casino and Resort. Mr. Phares, 42, said he wanted to go get dinner but was prodded by a friend to play a progressive Wheel of Fortune MegaJackpot machine.

Now, he said, “I’m very happy we played.”

The home mortgage branch manager from Holland, Pa., said he is not sure what he will do with his winnings. He said he would like to invest in Lake Tahoe property, but he also sees his windfall as a chance to help others.

OKLAHOMA

Air Force jet, crop duster collide

FREDERICK — An Air Force training jet and a crop-duster plane collided yesterday over southwestern Oklahoma, killing the crop duster pilot, authorities said.

The T-37 training jet from Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, struck the crop duster over a rural area southeast of Frederick, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman John Clabes said. The wreckage fell into a field.

The pilot of the crop duster was killed in the crash, which was reported about 11:30 a.m., said Jimmie Goodin, a dispatcher for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol in Altus.

Another Highway Patrol dispatcher, Della Adler, said the two Air Force pilots who were aboard the trainer survived. They apparently ejected from their airplane and parachuted to safety, she said.

OHIO

Sunken barges restrict shipping

REEDSVILLE — Traffic on a 42-mile stretch of the Ohio River was restricted yesterday because gates used to control the water level were jammed in the open position by sunken barges.

The barges were keeping the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from closing all eight gates that control the level of water between the Belleville locks and the Willow Island locks above Parkersburg, W.Va.

The water is normally 12 feet deep. By yesterday afternoon, it had dropped to 7 feet. It was expected to fall to 6 feet by evening, the lowest level along that stretch since the locks and dams were built in the late 1800s.

Salvage crews worked to dismantle the barges. The corps notified businesses along the affected stretch of river that it may be Sunday before the sunken barges are removed.

The sunken barges were among nine that broke loose on Jan. 6 during flooding along the river. The force of the water twisted three of the 175-foot-long steel barges into horseshoe shapes around the gates’ piers.

RHODE ISLAND

High school placed on probation

PROVIDENCE — Mount Pleasant High School was placed on probation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, which found fault with the curriculum, the building’s conditions and other issues, school officials said.

Principal Maureen Crisafulli said many of the problems are being corrected but some are beyond the school’s control.

TEXAS

Kinky Friedman to run for governor

DALLAS — Kinky Friedman, the best-selling author, country singer and friend of the stray dog, next month will officially toss his 10-gallon hat into the ring for the 2006 Texas governor’s race, his campaign said yesterday.

Mr. Friedman will announce his bid to run as an independent on Feb. 3 near the Alamo from a hotel where Theodore Roosevelt founded the Rough Riders. The humorist, however, is serious about his campaign to unseat Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican who succeeded President Bush.

“I have achieved a lot of my dreams in life and I want to see that young Texans achieve some of theirs,” he said. “I want to be governor because I need the closet space.”

Mr. Friedman said the main priorities in his campaign will include reforming the state’s education system and adding safeguards in the judicial process, where Texas ranks as the nation’s leader in capital punishment.

VERMONT

Derailment halts train traffic

BELLOWS FALLS — Freight and passenger train traffic was halted in southern Vermont after a nine-car derailment severely damaged track just north of the Saxtons River.

The New England Central Railroad cars were carrying wood products. No one was injured, and the cause was not known.

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