- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 18, 2005

GEORGIA

Gregory becomes Atlanta archbishop

COLLEGE PARK — The first black leader of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was installed yesterday as archbishop of Atlanta.

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, a Chicago native, became Atlanta’s sixth archbishop and its third black archbishop.

Mr. Gregory, 57, said he chose Martin Luther King Jr. Day for his installation as a tribute to the slain civil rights leader. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, was on hand for the ceremony at the Georgia International Convention Center in the suburb of College Park.

WISCONSIN

Accused killer commits suicide

MADISON — A college freshman charged with killing three men in their sleep hanged himself in his county jail cell yesterday, one day before his trial was to begin, authorities said.

Meng-Ju Wu, 20, came from Taiwan to study Chinese at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was charged in July 2003 with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the shootings of Jason McGuigan, 28, Dustin Wilson, 17, and Daniel Swanson, 25.

Officials were investigating how the man was able to use a bedsheet or pillowcase to hang himself from a sprinkler head.

ARIZONA

Three guards hurt in prison brawl

TUCSON — Three prison guards were injured yesterday while trying to break up a dining room brawl at an Arizona prison on the eve of the first anniversary of a hostage standoff at another state lockup.

The fight broke out among several prisoners at Arizona State Prison Complex-Tucson, and about 30 inmates barricaded themselves in the dining hall after guards tried to break up the dispute, officials said.

The inmates refused commands to leave the area but surrendered after guards dispersed a chemical in the dining room, said Corrections Department spokeswoman Cam Hunter.

The melee occurred on the eve of the first anniversary of last year’s hostage standoff at Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis. Two guards were taken hostage in a tower by inmates armed with makeshift knives and authorities were kept at bay for 15 days.

Negotiators finally talked the inmates into surrendering.

ARKANSAS

Bill would ban gay foster parents

LITTLE ROCK — Legislators filed a bill to restore a state ban on foster parenting in any household with a homosexual member.

Sen. Jim Holt, who ran for U.S. Senate on a platform against homosexual “marriage,” was a sponsor of the bill to give the state’s child welfare board control over “public morality.”

A Pulaski County Circuit Court ruling said the board didn’t have that authority.

MASSACHUSETTS

Harvard chief panned for remarks on sexes

CAMBRIDGE — The president of Harvard University prompted criticism for suggesting that innate differences between the sexes could help explain why fewer women succeed in science and math careers.

Lawrence H. Summers, speaking Friday at an economic conference, also questioned how great a role discrimination plays in keeping female scientists and engineers from advancing at elite universities.

The remarks prompted Massachusetts Institute of Technology biologist Nancy Hopkins — a Harvard graduate — to walk out on Mr. Summers’ talk, the Boston Globe reported. Five other participants in the National Bureau of Economic Research conference also said they were offended by the comments.

MICHIGAN

University considers alcohol ban

EAST LANSING — Michigan State University is considering banning alcohol in most public places on campus. The measure would make exceptions for pre-football tailgating in designated areas.

The board of trustees also will consider whether to enact permanent tailgating restrictions and specifically outlaw public urination and defecation.

MISSOURI

Man convicted of killing 6-year-old

CLAYTON — A man who killed the 6-year-old daughter of an acquaintance after she resisted his attempts to rape her was convicted yesterday of murder.

Johnny Johnson admitted he kidnapped Cassandra Williamson, then crushed the child’s head with bricks and rocks after she struggled against him.

The July 2002 killing happened at the ruins of an old glass factory in the St. Louis suburb of Valley Park after Johnson carried the girl piggyback from her father’s home, where Johnson had spent the previous night.

Defense attorneys argued that Johnson’s untreated mental illness made him incapable of acting with “cool reflection,” something prosecutors had to prove for a first-degree murder conviction.

In closing statements Monday, prosecutor Bob McCulloch told jurors that Johnson had planned to sexually assault Cassandra and killed her so she would not identify him, Mr. McCulloch said.

NEBRASKA

Driver hits pregnant woman

LINCOLN — A driver clipped a pregnant woman and crashed into a Salvation Army Family Store and Donation Center after her foot slipped off the brake of her car, police say.

The 69-year-old woman’s vehicle rammed through the concrete and glass, hitting Carrie Harris, 26, who is five months pregnant. She was treated for cuts on her elbow and a leg injury.

NEVADA

Weatherman fired after on-air racial slur

LAS VEGAS — A television weatherman was fired after referring to slain civil rights activist Martin Luther King with a racial slur on the air, station officials said.

Rob Blair, of KTNV-TV, was delivering the extended forecast Saturday morning when he inserted the slur in the middle of King’s name then said that on the holiday the area was “gonna see some temperatures in the mid-60s.”

Mr. Blair, who worked at the station for about three months, apologized during the station’s 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts Saturday.

NORTH CAROLINA

Former Army doctor to seek parole

RALEIGH — Former Army doctor Jeffrey MacDonald, convicted 25 years ago of the stabbing deaths of his pregnant wife and two daughters, will seek parole but will continue to proclaim his innocence, one of his attorneys said yesterday.

MacDonald, eligible for parole since 1991, has declined to seek his freedom because he said he would have to admit guilt for the 1970 slayings at the family’s Fort Bragg apartment.

MacDonald remarried a few years ago and has more reasons to want a life outside of prison, said his attorney Tim Junkin of Potomac, Md.

MacDonald, 61, is being held at the federal prison in Cumberland, Md.

NORTH DAKOTA

Hog grows to 1,300 pounds

HARLOW — Jean and Bernard Meyer have a celebrity on their Benson County farm. He doesn’t have a name, but he is a heavyweight.

The Meyers’ hog weighs 1,300 pounds and measures 7 feet 8 inches long.

Mr. Meyer, who has raised hogs for more than 50 years, said the 2-year-old Yorkshire-Hampshire-Duroc cross weighed 200 pounds when purchased in Minnesota nearly two years ago.

Hogs have been known to weigh 1,300 pounds, researchers say, but market weight is usually a lot less.

PENNSYLVANIA

Petite coed eats 6-pound hamburger

CLEARFIELD — Kate Stelnick weighs only 100 pounds, but her appetite is remarkable.

The college student from Princeton, N.J., is the first to meet a restaurant’s challenge by downing its 6-pound hamburger — and 5 pounds of fixings — within three hours.

Miss Stelnick, 19, didn’t eat for two days to prepare for the challenge. She made the five-hour drive to Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub with two friends from the College of New Jersey on Wednesday.

Denny Leigey Jr., the owner of the bar, had offered a 2-pound burger for years and conceived of the 6-pounder after his daughter went to college and told him about a bar that sold a 4-pounder.

But nobody had finished the big burger in the three-hour time limit since it was introduced on Super Bowl Sunday in 1998.

RHODE ISLAND

Bill would ban guns after restraining order

PROVIDENCE — Democratic state Rep. Joanne Giannini reintroduced a bill that would require people subject to domestic-violence restraining orders to turn in their guns to police or sell them to licensed gun dealers.

An identical proposal died in a Senate committee last year.

WYOMING

Crash spills chemical, kills one, injures two

CHEYENNE — A tractor-trailer rear-ended a truck carrying a potentially explosive chemical, killing one person and injuring two, authorities said.

Little of the 117,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate spilled, and there was no fire or explosion, Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Townsend said. The chemical was destined for use as fertilizer.

Ammonium nitrate is the same substance that Timothy McVeigh soaked with fuel to blow up the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, killing 168 persons.

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