- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 5, 2005

Charles, Camilla visit market, farm

SAN FRANCISCO — Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, took their royal tour of the United States to Northern California yesterday, examining local produce at a market and lunching with locals at an organic farm near San Francisco.

The prince and Duchess of Cornwall will spend more than three days in the region, as the trip shifts from the power centers of New York and Washington to more rural areas, and issues close to the prince’s heart — organic agriculture and sustainable food production.

After a stop at the farmer’s market in the Marin County town of Point Reyes Station, the couple will visit Bolinas, a small coastal community about 30 miles north of San Francisco.

Convicted killer remains at large

HOUSTON — Jurors and victims’ relatives fear they might be targets of a death-row inmate who freed himself from handcuffs and walked out of a county jail in civilian clothes.

Convicted killer Charles Victor Thompson remained at large yesterday, authorities said. Thompson, 35, fooled at least four jail employees when he walked out of the Harris County Jail on Thursday.

“This was 100 percent human error; that’s the most frustrating thing about it,” sheriff’s spokesman Lt. John Martin said Friday.

Several relatives of Thompson’s victims — his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend — went into hiding or agreed to police protection, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Ex-Klansman in prison for selling pipe bombs

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A federal judge sentenced a former Ku Klux Klansman to 14 years in prison Friday for making pipe bombs and selling them to an undercover informant who said they would be used to kill illegal aliens.

Daniel Schertz, 27, apologized to his family before the judge gave him the maximum possible penalty in a plea agreement.

“The court is not going to take into account at all your involvement with the Ku Klux Klan. That is your right,” federal Judge Curtis L. Collier told him. “We do punish for behavior.”

Schertz pleaded guilty to building five pipe bombs and selling them to an undercover informant for $750 in April. The bombs were to be “detonated on a bus carrying Mexican workers to work in Florida,” according to his plea agreement.

Teacher sentenced for hit-and-run deaths

TAMPA, Fla. — A former elementary-school dance teacher was sentenced to two years of house arrest yesterday for speeding away after her car hit and killed two young brothers.

Jennifer Porter pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of the March 2004 accident that killed Bryant Wilkins, 13, and his 3-year-old brother Durantae Caldwell. An 8-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother were injured.

Circuit Judge Emmett Lamar Battles said he weighed Porter’s clean police record and the “extreme trauma” she endured during the crime in sentencing her to “community custody,” which he described as “a stricter form of probation — essentially house arrest.”

Porter was also sentenced to three years of probation, 500 hours of community service benefiting children and psychiatric treatment.

108-year-old boasts perfect voting record

SHELTON, Conn. — No one was surprised when Effie Hobby cast her absentee ballot in Shelton’s municipal election.

The 108-year-old has voted in every local, state and national election since women were given the right to vote in 1920.

“It’s important to vote because you get to have a part in government and in getting things done,” Miss Hobby said. “I was always taught that voting was just one of those things you should do. It’s a privilege to vote.”

The lifetime Republican said she did not get very involved in the fight leading to the adoption of the 19th Amendment on Aug. 26, 1920, but did not pass up the opportunity to cast her first vote at age 23.

That year the Republican ticket of Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge defeated Democrat James Cox and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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