- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 20, 2005

CALIFORNIA

State execution first in three years

SAN QUENTIN — A three-time murderer who said he had a brain defect was put to death early yesterday in California’s first execution in three years.

Donald Beardslee, 61, died by injection at San Quentin State Prison nearly a quarter-century after murdering two women over a drug deal while on parole for a third killing.

The execution came hours after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, authorizing the first execution of his term, rejected a clemency petition and the U.S. Supreme Court turned down two last-minute appeals.

COLORADO

Injured worker to change jobs

LITTLETON — A construction worker who shot himself in the head with a nail gun — an accident he didn’t discover until he went to the dentist with a nagging toothache — said he will change his line of work.

“I’ll make pizzas,” Patrick Lawler, 23, said Tuesday.

Mr. Lawler was working on a house near Breckenridge when he accidentally fired the nail into his head. He didn’t realize the 4-inch nail was lodged 1 inches into his brain until it was revealed by a dentist’s X-ray six days later. He was hospitalized, and surgeons removed the nail last week.

ARIZONA

Schools seek end to desegregation

TUCSON — The Tucson Unified School District asked a federal judge to declare that the district is now integrated. That would close a decades-old desegregation case.

The district has been working under a 1978 settlement, changing attendance boundaries and creating more magnet schools to comply with federal law.

ARKANSAS

Icelandic sheep find home in the South

DUTCH MILLS — It’s not as cold in northwestern Arkansas as it is in Iceland, but a flock of Icelandic sheep doesn’t seem to mind.

Dennis and Marilyn Miles say that their Icelandic flock in southwestern Washington County is the only one in the state and that their sheep are among about 3,500 such animals found in the United States and Canada.

“We had some friends here a year ago in October,” Mrs. Miles said. “Dennis told them how much time he spent mowing. Our friends said we ought to get some sheep.”

The Miles did some research and were intrigued by what they found out about the breed from Iceland, the island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean. Mr. Miles says the breed is “maintenance-free.”

FLORIDA

Coast Guard stops 10,696 illegals

MIAMI — Figures released by the Coast Guard in Miami show 10,696 potential illegal immigrants were intercepted at sea last year, the most in a decade.

In 1994, a surge of Cuban asylum-seekers tried to reach the United States on makeshift rafts, resulting in 63,000 Coast Guard interdictions.

The most interdictions last year were from the Dominican Republic, the Miami Herald reported yesterday.

There were 4,500 Dominicans interdicted, compared with nearly 1,500 Cubans. The 2004 figures for Cubans were only slightly more than 2003.

HAWAII

Van thief frees tourists

HONOLULU — A man stole a tour van left idling at a beach park with four persons inside, but eventually let the four go unharmed, police said.

The van had been left running early Tuesday morning at Kahe Point Beach Park in Oahu while the driver and three tourists stepped out to admire the view, police said.

Anthony Lopez of Colorado said he and three girls were dozing in the van when a man slid into the driver’s seat and sped out of the parking lot. The man agreed to free them, after Mr. Lopez begged him to let them go.

Police recovered the van, which had been abandoned, but said the victims’ belongings were stolen.

ILLINOIS

African elephant dies at 55

CHICAGO — The oldest African elephant in the United States has died at the Lincoln Park Zoo at the age of 55, officials said Tuesday.

Zookeepers found the 9,000-pound female elephant named Peaches sprawled on the floor of an indoor enclosure on Monday. The elephant’s eyes weren’t focused, and she had difficulty breathing, zoo officials said. Veterinarians could not get her back on her feet and euthanized her hours later.

Kelly McGrath, a zoo spokeswoman, said the median life expectancy for African elephants in the wild is thought to be about 42.

INDIANA

Store orders 30 tons of jelly beans

WAKARUSA — When the owners of the Dime Store order candy, they are not messing around. This year, they ordered 30 tons of jumbo jelly beans.

The Wakarusa store ordered the tonnage for its 35th bean season — far more than the 5 tons of the candies it ordered in 1998.

The store began selling jumbo jelly beans in conjunction with the Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival 35 years ago. That first year, the store ordered 100 pounds and sold them all.

This year, the store is featuring stone-shaped jelly beans, along with its popular “Love Potion Number Nine,” a cherry-vanilla jumbo bean mix.

MASSACHUSETTS

FBI probes ‘dirty bomb’ threat

BOSTON — The FBI said yesterday that it was investigating a report of a “dirty bomb” threat in Boston, but called the information “uncorroborated.”

ABC News reported yesterday that teams equipped with radiological sensors were patrolling Boston, but local police said they had no information.

The ABC News report, broadcast over local Boston radio station WBZ, said an FBI field office in San Diego notified colleagues in Boston that someone might be trying to detonate a dirty bomb, or a low-yield radioactive weapon, in the city.

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who had been in Washington for President Bush’s second inauguration ceremony, was reported to have cut short his trip and returned to Massachusetts yesterday evening to deal with the threat.

NORTH CAROLINA

Sanitation workers earn NASCAR reward

CONCORD — Even though they are sanitation workers, Edwin Workman and Todd Little will be treated like VIPs at NASCAR’s Nextel All-Star Challenge.

Both men returned 51 $100 bills folded in a money clip in the pocket of a shirt tossed in the garbage on Dec. 31. The cash was more than two months combined take-home pay for the two men.

Humpy Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, was so impressed with the men’s honesty that he decided to reward them. Mr. Wheeler arranged for VIP tickets to the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on May 21, with reserved parking and a pre-race pit tour.

PENNSYLVANIA

Woman sues over medical mistake

DANVILLE — A woman is suing a doctor who operated on her, accusing him of leaving a 4-inch metal instrument inside her uterus.

In her lawsuit, Lori Klinger, 35, said she experienced severe pain after Dr. Samuel Owusu performed a diagnostic laparoscopy on her in November 2002 to check for endometriosis, a disease of the uterus.

Two days later, she discovered the instrument, the lawsuit said, which she then took to the doctor’s office. Miss Klinger is seeking $350,000for counts including negligence.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Legislators kill state pest bill

PIERRE — A legislative committee killed a bill to designate the black-tailed prairie dog a state pest after game officials said the measure could wreck their efforts to control the critters.

The legislation could lead environmental groups to renew efforts to have the animal designated as endangered, officials said. That could interfere with ongoing state programs.

TEXAS

Bill would put BMI on report cards

AUSTIN — Texas school districts would be required to include the body mass index of students as part of their regular report cards under a bill introduced Tuesday by a lawmaker seeking to link healthy minds with healthy bodies.

When the measurement, which calculates body fat based on height and weight, indicates that a student is overweight, the school would provide parents with information about links between increased body fat and health problems, said Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte.

More than a third of school-age children in Texas are overweight or obese, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture.

UTAH

Animal activist imprisoned for arson

SALT LAKE CITY — A second man who admitted setting fire to a farm building at Brigham Young University on behalf of an animal rights group was sentenced Tuesday to 2 years in prison.

Joshua S. Demmitt, 19, could have received up to 20 years after pleading guilty to destruction of property by fire. The blaze last July on BYU’s Provo campus caused an estimated $30,000 damage.

Harrison D. Burrows, 18, who admitted starting the fire with Demmitt, received an identical sentence on Jan. 10.

WASHINGTON

Three missing after flooding

SEATTLE — Flooding chased residents from their homes in one Pacific Northwest community and killed livestock, and three persons were missing yesterday after a mudslide on the Canadian side of the border.

Flood warnings remained in effect yesterday for several rivers in northwestern Washington, the National Weather Service said.

Most highways remained open, but numerous local roads were closed by high water in King, Snohomish and Skagit counties.

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