- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 5, 2005

CONNECTICUT

Hackworth dies at 74; was war commentator

HARTFORD — Retired Army Col. David Hackworth, a decorated Vietnam veteran who spoke out against the war and later became a journalist and an advocate for military reform, has died, his wife said yesterday. He was 74.

Mr. Hackworth died Wednesday in Tijuana, Mexico, where he was receiving treatment for bladder cancer.

A Newsweek correspondent during the Persian Gulf War, Mr. Hackworth worked in recent years as a syndicated columnist for King Features, often criticizing the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq war.

Mr. Hackworth ignited a national debate last year when he reported that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld used a machine to sign condolence letters sent to the families of fallen soldiers. Mr. Rumsfeld later promised to sign each letter by hand.

FLORIDA

Developer plans tallest apartments

MIAMI — A developer wants to build the world’s tallest residential high-rise, reaching more than 1,200 feet with 110 floors, in downtown Miami, a newspaper said yesterday.

The proposed Empire World Towers — a condominium tower and an apartment hotel — would include 1,000 residential units and 500 apartment-hotel units, the developer, Leon Cohen, told the Miami Herald.

The proposed twin buildings would be nearly 328 feet taller than the world’s current tallest residential building, Dubai’s 21st Century Tower, which reaches 883 feet, the Herald said.

Mr. Cohen paid $31.7 million for land on downtown Miami’s Biscayne Boulevard, the Herald said. It is not clear whether the building can be built because of the heavy air traffic in the area.

GEORGIA

Runaway bride apologizes for fuss

GAINESVILLE — Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks, 32, apologized yesterday for disappearing just before her wedding day, and insisted cryptically that her flight was prompted not by cold feet, but by “a host of compelling issues that seemed out of control.”

Miss Wilbanks’ three-day disappearance last week scared her family and friends and led to a nationwide search.

“I am truly sorry for the trouble I caused and I offer my deep and sincerest apology,” she said in a statement read by her father’s pastor, the Rev. Tom Smiley.

Miss Wilbanks faces criminal charges for reportedly claiming at first that she had been kidnapped. The mayor of Duluth, Ga., has threatened to sue her to recoup the $40,000 to $60,000 cost of the search.

“At this time I cannot fully explain what happened to me last week. I had a host of compelling issues that seemed out of control,” Miss Wilbanks said.

ILLINOIS

Till family split over exhumation

CHICAGO — Many of Emmett Till’s relatives oppose FBI plans to exhume his remains nearly 50 years after he was killed in one of the most infamous crimes of the civil rights era, one family member said yesterday.

Bertha Thomas, president of the Emmett Till Foundation and a distant cousin who knew Mr. Till’s mother, said she was speaking for a majority of the family in saying she would rather see the newly reopened probe end than let the body be exhumed.

“They had over 40 years to do this, and my major question to the FBI, the Department of Justice and anybody else involved, is, ‘Why now?’” she said.

But cousin Simeon Wright, who was sleeping in the same room as Mr. Till the night he was kidnapped, said, “I know of no other family member who is against this. We’re going on with this, with or without her.”

An FBI spokeswoman in Mississippi said other relatives contacted by federal agents expressed no opposition to the exhumation.

KENTUCKY

Baptist seminary shuns psychology

LOUISVILLE — Southern Baptist Theological Seminary wants students to be skeptical toward much of modern psychology and to look first to the Bible for guidance — a major shift for a school that pioneered the integration of theology and psychology decades ago.

Students preparing for counseling careers will need to supplement their education elsewhere to receive certification in their field from professional organizations or state agencies, the Courier-Journal reported. Other seminarians also will see some effect.

Theology Dean Russell Moore said, “What we want to avoid is having our curriculum … driven by the demands of any outside agencies.” He expects seminary graduates will work in churches or related institutions, rather than private practice or secular settings.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Nuclear plant reopens after outage, upgrade

SEABROOK — The Seabrook nuclear plant is back in business after a monthlong refueling outage and upgrade.

The plant was reconnected to the regional power grid and gradually will move back to full power, a plant spokesman said. The power upgrade adds enough additional power to light 70,000 homes.

LOUISIANA

Big award uncovers little restaurant

NEW ORLEANS — Nearly 50 years after Willie Mae Seaton started dishing up fried chicken, smothered pork chops, and red beans and rice at her little restaurant near a public housing project, she has suddenly become trendy.

To the surprise of longtime New Orleans gourmets, most of whom didn’t even know the place existed, Willie Mae’s Scotch House was among a handful of restaurants nationwide to win the prestigious America’s Classic Award this week from the James Beard Foundation Southern Wine & Spirits of New York.

Located in a shotgun house just around the corner from the better-known Dooky Chase restaurant, Willie Mae’s is identified only by a sign over the door.

OHIO

Officers suspended in child handcuffing

CINCINNATI — Two officers accused of handcuffing a 5-year-old boy after a fight on a school bus have been suspended with pay while the city investigates the accusations, authorities said.

Chief Tom Streicher assigned Officers Douglas Snider and Kaneshia Howell to desk work Tuesday and took away their guns, police officials said. Mekel Finch, the boy’s mother, sued the police department, the bus company and the driver in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court on Friday. She is asking for more than $50,000.

The lawsuit claims the driver improperly detained the boy after he was struck by another child on the bus on Jan. 13. The child wasn’t charged.

TEXAS

Two lawyers killed in murder-suicide

HOUSTON — A lawyer working for an oil-equipment company fatally shot a fellow lawyer while they were sitting at a desk yesterday morning, then killed himself, police said.

The victim, shot in the head, was a patent lawyer with Cooper Cameron oil services. The men’s names were not released. Police said they were in their 50s or 60s.

Capt. Dwayne Ready said police had no immediate idea regarding a motive.

The shooting happened on the fifth floor of the Cameron building in West Houston.

VERMONT

Death penalty case gets under way

BURLINGTON — Jury selection began in Vermont’s first death penalty case in a half-century as federal prosecutors and defense attorneys tried to winnow a pool of potential jurors from about 1,000 to 70.

Donald Fell, 24, formerly of Rutland, is accused of kidnapping a Clarendon woman, taking her to New York state and fatally beating her.

WASHINGTON

Mayor of Spokane denies molesting boys

SPOKANE — Two men have accused Mayor James E. West of molesting them when they were boys and he was a sheriff’s deputy and Boy Scout leader, the Spokesman-Review reported yesterday.

Mr. West, 54, a conservative Republican leader of the state Senate before he was elected mayor in 2003, denied ever having had sex with children.

The mayor has confirmed, in an unrelated case, that he offered gifts and a City Hall internship over a homosexual Web site to someone he thought was 18 but who was actually a forensic computer specialist working for the newspaper.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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