- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 25, 2005

GEORGIA

Desegregation judge dies at 102

MACON — Retired U.S. District Judge William Augustus Bootle, who issued a string of historic civil rights rulings in the 1960s including the 1961 order allowing blacks to enter the University of Georgia, died at his home yesterday. He was 102.

Dee Mitchell, administrative assistant at Snow’s Memorial Chapel, confirmed Judge Bootle’s death.

Among Judge Bootle’s rulings were ones integrating buses and school systems and ensuring blacks’ place on voter rolls.

Judge Bootle “took the lead in bringing about the elimination of segregation in the field of education and otherwise,” said Carl Sanders, Georgia’s governor from 1963 to 1967.

TEXAS

Suspected illegals foundon intercepted plane

SAN ANTONIO — A group of suspected illegal immigrants was being questioned yesterday after federal authorities intercepted a single-engine plane and forced it to land.

The pilot of the Cessna and at least four suspected illegal immigrants were detained by homeland security officials in connection with a possible smuggling operation, according to newspaper and broadcast reports.

A police dispatcher said federal authorities forced the craft to land just before 10 p.m. Monday at Stinson Municipal Airport.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Dean Boyd in Washington said yesterday that investigators had found no links between the detainees and international terrorism.

ALABAMA

FBI investigating Boy Scouts rolls

BIRMINGHAM — Boy Scouts volunteer Tom Willis knew something was wrong when he saw that 20 youngsters on the list for a Scouting program all had the same last name: Doe.

Mr. Willis said it appeared someone was listing fake members to boost enrollment, perhaps to bring in more funding from agencies like the United Way or to make paid Boy Scout recruiters look better.

“It was just so blatant. They didn’t even try to make up names,” said Mr. Willis, a dentist from Decatur and a former Eagle Scout who serves on the board of the Greater Alabama Boy Scout Council, which runs scouting programs in northeastern Alabama.

The FBI is investigating whether the council padded its membership rolls. It is among investigations across the nation into whether the Boy Scouts has inflated its numbers.

The FBI refused to comment.

ARIZONA

Phoenix officials urge boiling of water

PHOENIX — The 1.4 million residents of Phoenix were warned yesterday to boil their drinking water or use bottled water as a precaution because of problems at treatment plants, and to take conservation measures.

Muddy water stirred up by recent storms was flowing into one of the city’s two operating water treatment plants, reducing the output of that plant, officials said.

Two other treatment plants were shut down for maintenance, and the fifth was closed because it was flooded by the storms, leaving one of the city’s five water treatment plants producing at full capacity.

Mayor Phil Gordon said initial tests early yesterday showed the water was safe. He said the recommendation to boil the water was a precaution until final test results become available today.

Besides boiling water for drinking, residents were told to take short showers, shut off landscape watering and use bottled water for brushing teeth, making ice, preparing food and washing dishes.

CONNECTICUT

Court upholds execution stay

HARTFORD — The Connecticut Supreme Court yesterday rebuffed attempts by the father of a serial killer to intervene against his son’s wishes and file appeals that could block his execution.

The court ruled that Dan Ross and public defenders had failed to show that Michael Ross was incompetent when he decided to accept his death sentence.

A separate appeal is under way in federal court.

Michael Ross last year fired his public defenders and decided to forgo further appeals. He had been scheduled this week to become the first person executed in New England in nearly 45 years, but a federal judge Monday delayed the lethal injection to hold a full hearing to determine whether Michael Ross was mentally competent when he dropped his appeals.

Prosecutors appealed that ruling to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the case could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

DELAWARE

Robber calls victim, asks her for a date

NEW CASTLE — New Castle County police say that after two men robbed the woman, one of them called the victim on his cell phone to apologize — and to ask her out on a date.

The victim, 18, declined the request. Instead, she gave the cell phone number to police, who arrested Brent Brown, 25, on Thursday. Using a photo lineup, the victim also identified Mr. Brown as one of the robbers.

Police also arrested an 18-year-old man and were looking for a 16-year-old linked to the crime.

“It would make a perfect story for the television show, ‘The World’s Dumbest Criminals,’” said county police spokesman Cpl. Trinidad Navarro.

ILLINOIS

Study links obesity to kidney stones

CHICAGO — Being obese or gaining weight increases the risk of kidney stones, especially in women who ordinarily run half the chance that men do of developing the painful deposits, researchers said yesterday.

“Fat tissue may decrease the body’s ability to respond to insulin, which could cause changes to the urine that favor the growth of kidney stones,” said Eric Taylor, a physician at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

He said more research must be done to confirm that hypothesis but that the study he led “found such a dramatic link between weight gain and kidney stones” that the next step is to find out whether losing weight will lower the risk of having the condition repeat itself.

His report found that men who had gained 35 pounds since early adulthood were about 40 percent more likely to suffer kidney stones while women who gained the same amount over a similar period were about 70 percent more likely to have them when compared with people with normal weights.

The study, published in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association, offered no explanation for the differences between men and women.

MASSACHUSETTS

FBI says terror threat was a false alarm

BOSTON — The FBI said yesterday that the possible terrorist plot reported against Boston by a tipster last week was a false alarm. A law-enforcement official in Mexico said a suspected smuggler made the story up to get back at people who failed to pay him.

“There were in fact no terrorist plans or activity under way,” an FBI statement said. “Because the criminal investigation is ongoing, no further details can be provided at this time.”

Jose Ernesto Beltran Quinones, one of 16 persons sought for questioning about the reported terror plot, was detained over the weekend in Mexicali, a Mexican border town near San Diego. His son, also named Jose, was detained Monday.

According to a law-enforcement official there, the two men were involved in smuggling Chinese migrants across the border and told investigators that smugglers had squabbled over a deal, and that one had anonymously called in the false tip to U.S. authorities as revenge. The source, who asked not to be named, did not say which smuggler had made the call.

NEBRASKA

Man rents forehead for advertising space

OMAHA — A Web page designer who auctioned off the use of his forehead for advertising space is letting it go to his head.

Andrew Fischer, 20, of Omaha, who put his forehead up for sale on EBay as advertising space, received $37,375 on Friday to advertise the snoring remedy, SnoreStop.

Mr. Fischer will display the SnoreStop logo on his forehead for one month.

“I look forward to an enjoyable association with Andrew — a man who clearly has a head for business in every sense of the word,” SnoreStop Chief Executive Officer Christian de Rivel said.

But there were limits: He refused to be the conduit for any message or product deemed unacceptable in traditional advertising formats.

NEW JERSEY

3 killed, 1 injured in plant explosion

PERTH AMBOY — Three men died and a fourth was critically injured when the highly flammable gas they were handling exploded yesterday at an industrial site.

The men were thrown several yards from a loading dock by the explosion. Ten other workers at the Acetylene Service Co. warehouse were not harmed.

The men were transferring acetylene, a colorless gas used in welding, into hundreds of small tanks when a hose leaked and one of the cylinders blew up, fire officials said. The cause of the leak was not immediately known.

The facility is owned by Woodbridge-based Acetylene Supply Co. Inc.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2002 found two life-threatening violations involving confined spaces at the facility, according to the federal agency’s Web site. Acetylene Service Co. paid a $563 fine.

OHIO

Court overturns death sentence

CINCINNATI — A federal appeals court yesterday overturned the death sentence of a dual U.S.-British citizen convicted of killing a 2-year-old girl by starting a fire in his ex-girlfriend’s apartment building, casting doubt on the evidence against him.

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that Kenneth T. Richey received incompetent legal counsel at his 1986 trial and directed a lower court to order Ohio to retry him within 90 days or release him.

Richey, 40, maintained he did not start the fire that killed Cynthia Collins in the northwest Ohio town of Columbus Grove, but acknowledged he was intoxicated that night and did not remember what happened.

OKLAHOMA

Governor questions more health insurance

OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Brad Henry says he doesn’t know whether the state can afford a request by the Oklahoma Education Association that the state pay at least part of the health insurance coverage for teachers’ spouses and dependents.

Beginning this year, the state is paying 100 percent of teachers’ individual premiums, $314 a month. A teacher with a spouse and two children pays about $700 a month for health insurance.

PENNSYLVANIA

Prosecutors want to interview Cosby

PHILADELPHIA — Prosecutors say they want to interview Bill Cosby after meeting with a former Temple University employee who says the comedian fondled her in his suburban Philadelphia home.

Investigators also are interviewing other potential witnesses before deciding whether any charges are warranted, Bruce L. Castor Jr., the Montgomery County district attorney, said in a statement Monday.

Mr. Cosby, 67, a Temple alumnus and booster who frequently attends campus events, was a close friend and mentor to the 31-year-old woman, her parents said in an interview published Sunday in the Toronto Sun.

The woman, a native Canadian, went to Canadian authorities Jan. 13, contending Mr. Cosby had given her some medication and later fondled her in his Cheltenham Township mansion a year earlier, after they and others met for dinner.

The long-married Mr. Cosby, best-known as a warm, wisecracking TV dad, postponed several appearances after the accusations surfaced last week. His publicist, David Brokaw, said yesterday that Mr. Cosby plans to keep to his schedule.

RHODE ISLAND

‘Survivor’ arraigned in tax evasion

PROVIDENCE — Richard Hatch, who rose to fame as the first winner of the “Survivor” TV series, was arraigned on charges of tax evasion yesterday for not declaring more than $1 million in earnings. He was released after surrendering his passport and paying a $50,000 bond.

Mr. Hatch, 43, a Rhode Island resident, formally was charged in federal court in Providence after prosecutors said he failed to declare the $1 million he earned for besting all other contestants on the hit reality TV show in 2000.

Mr. Hatch, a corporate trainer and consultant, also is charged with failing to declare the $10,000 prize he earned for appearing on the season’s final episode and more than $300,000 he earned the following year from radio appearances.

The charges against Mr. Hatch carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Mr. Hatch had no comment after the court appearance.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Juror found to be in contempt of court

COLUMBIA — A woman was found in contempt of court for telephoning news organizations while serving as a juror in a federal death-penalty trial. Cynthia Wilson was ordered to perform 120 hours of community service and repay $2,500 of the $5,600 she received for jury duty.

She made the calls to bring attention to the case so women would be aware of dangerous situations, her attorney said.

TENNESSEE

Attendance down at national park

GATLINBURG — The Great Smoky Mountains National Park drew about 9.1 million visitors in 2004, down 2 percent, officials said.

Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson said weather was a key factor, because the park got 11 inches more rain than normal. Several of the rainy months came during usually busy tourism times. The park is the most visited in the nation.

WEST VIRGINIA

Postcard returned after 37 years

MORGANTOWN — A postcard that Navy recruit Dennis Bosley sent to his mother has been returned — 37 years after he mailed it.

The yellowed postcard intended for Beatrice Bosley arrived in her son’s Morgantown mailbox Saturday inside an envelope with no return address.

“It’s just weird,” said Mr. Bosley, 55. “I’d like to find out who sent it to me and what happened to it. I have no idea. I’ve called all my family, and they have no idea.”

Mr. Bosley mailed the postcard from boot camp in 1968 and he later served on the destroyer USS Waldon during the Vietnam War. Nine days after he returned to Morgantown, his mother died.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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