- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 9, 2005

Passengers, crew become sick on ship

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Nearly 120 passengers and crew members became sick with a stomach virus aboard a ship that returned to port yesterday after a five-day Caribbean cruise, Royal Caribbean International officials said.

The outbreak of a Norwalk-type virus aboard the Enchantment of the Seas sickened 108 passengers and eight crew members, said company spokesman Michael Sheehan. It was traced to a man who had symptoms two days before boarding the ship Monday, he said.

U.S. sub runs aground; 20 hurt

HONOLULU — A nuclear submarine ran aground about 350 miles south of Guam, injuring about 20 sailors, one of them critically, the Navy said.

There were no reports of damage to the USS San Francisco’s reactor, which was operating normally after the incident Friday, the Navy said.

The 360-foot submarine was headed back to its home port in Guam, and the incident was under investigation, said Jon Yoshishige, a spokesman for the Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor.

Woman admits killing another boyfriend

ERIE, Pa. — A woman who was once acquitted in the death of a boyfriend has been sentenced to prison for killing another boyfriend, whose body was found stuffed in a freezer.

Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong of Erie was sentenced Friday to seven to 20 years in prison for third-degree murder and abuse of a corpse in the August 2003 shotgun slaying of live-in boyfriend James Roden, 45. Before her trial was set to begin, she said mental illness had prevented her from understanding that her actions were wrong.

She had denied killing Mr. Roden, blaming a friend who later admitted he helped her clean up the crime scene, dispose of the shotgun and store Mr. Roden’s body in a freezer at his home.

She was charged in 1984 with the shooting death of her then boyfriend Robert Thomas. She said she had been a victim of physical and sexual abuse and shot Mr. Thomas before he could kill her. She was acquitted of homicide in 1988 and put on probation for carrying a firearm without a license.

Anti-terrorism funds spent improperly

AUSTIN, Texas — An audit of the state’s spending of nearly $600 million in federal antiterrorism funds found that some of the money was spent improperly, including the purchase of a trailer that was used to haul lawn mowers to “lawn mower drag races.”

The state auditor’s office pointed out several cases in which poor monitoring by the Texas Engineering Extension Service may have allowed abuse.

One county bought 18 radios and other communication equipment from a company owned by one of its commissioners, according to the report released Thursday. Another jurisdiction used a trailer ostensibly bought as emergency equipment to haul lawn mowers to races, the report says.

State auditors have forwarded the case to their special investigation unit, which handles fraud, abuse and other criminal allegations.

3.6 million nickels disappear with trucker

MIAMI — A truck driver has disappeared with the 3.6 million nickels he was hauling to the Federal Reserve Bank in New Orleans, police said Friday.

Angel Ricardo Mendoza, 43, picked up the coins, worth $180,000, Dec. 17 from the Federal Reserve in New Jersey and was supposed to haul the cargo — weighing 45,000 pounds — to New Orleans for a trucking company subcontracted by the Federal Reserve, police said.

On Dec. 21, Mr. Mendoza’s empty truck and trailer turned up at a truck stop in Fort Pierce, Fla. Miami-Dade police, the FBI and the Federal Reserve police are investigating.

Two killed in shooting in Chicago nightclub

CHICAGO — Shots were fired inside a nightclub early yesterday, apparently by patrons angry that they were denied entry to another part of the building. A bouncer and another man were killed, and at least five others were wounded, police said.

The gunfire took place about 3 a.m. at Cafe Allure on the city’s North Side when four persons who had left a private party on the second floor returned and demanded to enter the main room on the first floor, police spokeswoman Laura Kubiak said.

No one was in custody yesterday. Miss Kubiak said she did not know how many shooters were involved or how many shots were fired.

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