- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 6, 2005

CALIFORNIA

Koppel to leave ‘Nightline’ next month

LOS ANGELES — Broadcast journalist Ted Koppel, the face of late-night newscast “Nightline” for a quarter-century, will anchor the show for the last time Nov. 22, but ABC News has not decided who will replace him, the network said yesterday.

Mr. Koppel, 65, has hosted “Nightline” since it became a regular show in 1980 after evolving from a series of nightly specials titled “The Iran Crisis: America Held Hostage,” on Iran’s 1979 invasion of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and seizure of American hostages.

Mr. Koppel plans to continue working on news projects with the show’s outgoing executive producer, Tom Bettag, after their departure.

An ABC spokeswoman said no decisions have been made about the nature of Mr. Koppel’s final Nov. 22 broadcast or who will succeed him when the series resumes without him Nov. 28.

NEW YORK

Investigators find body in a landfill

NEW YORK — A body was recovered at a Pennsylvania landfill where authorities have been searching for the mother of a 4-year-old girl who was abandoned on a city street, police said yesterday.

Monica Lozada-Rivadineira, 26, vanished Sept. 24, and police had searched for her body in Queens and at two landfills in Pennsylvania to which New York City’s garbage is hauled.

A woman’s body, wrapped in black plastic bags, was found shortly after noon yesterday in the Vintondale, Pa., landfill, said police spokesman Paul Browne. The body was not positively identified, but police said they thought it was that of the victim.

Her companion, Cesar Ascarrunz, is being held without bail on charges of strangling her, dumping her body into a pile of trash and abandoning her daughter, Valery Belen Saavedra Lozada, on the street.

COLORADO

Suspected bike thief commits suicide

KREMMLING — A 55-year-old Colorado man, suspected of stealing a bicycle, killed himself by taking potassium cyanide during police questioning at his home.

Police said William Edward Campbell, who lived in the Rocky Mountain resort town of Kremmling, 100 miles west of Denver, died Tuesday minutes after ingesting the poison, the Rocky Mountain News reported.

Police Chief Scott Spade said he and two detectives were at the suspect’s residence when Mr. Campbell said he needed a drink of water.

“He was nervous, agitated. He actually put the product in the glass of water and stirred it,” Chief Spade said.

Chief Spade said Mr. Campbell was arrested last week on suspicion of attempting to steal a bike frame from a shop, the report said.

DELAWARE

State Supreme Court protects blogger

DOVER — The Delaware Supreme Court rejected a town council member’s quest to find out who posted obscenity-laden tirades about him on the Internet, saying free-speech concerns outweighed the politician’s argument that he was defamed.

The decision Wednesday reversed a lower-court ruling ordering an Internet service provider to disclose the person behind four anonymous postings to a blog site operated by Independent Newspapers Inc., publisher of the Delaware State News.

The posted entries, among other things, accused Smyrna Council member Patrick Cahill of “obvious mental deterioration” and used the name “Gahill” to suggest that he is homosexual.

FLORIDA

Alzheimer’s patient found raped, shot

POMPANO BEACH — An 85-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s who wandered away from her home was found raped and shot less than an hour after she was reported missing.

The woman had surgery and is recovering at a hospital, said Broward County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jim Leljedal. She did not remember the attack.

The assault occurred before dawn Monday, after a daughter who lives with her helped her get dressed. The daughter went to another room for a few minutes, then returned to find that her mother had gone outside, Mr. Leljedal said. She couldn’t find the older woman and called 911.

A deputy patrolling outside a nearby jail discovered the woman lying on the sidewalk, fully clothed but with a broken leg and a gunshot wound in her pelvic area. A hospital exam showed evidence of a sexual assault, officials said.

IDAHO

County faulted for freeing suspect

COEUR D’ALENE — The estates of Brenda Groene and her boyfriend filed a claim against a Minnesota county, saying it negligently mishandled the case of a sex offender who is accused of killing the couple and two of Mrs. Groene’s children.

Joseph E. Duncan III was released on $15,000 bail in April after being charged with molesting two boys in Becker County, Minn. The legal claim argues that the bail amount was too low for someone with his criminal history and that Becker County didn’t sufficiently monitor Duncan upon his release.

In May, Mrs. Groene, her 13-year-old son and Mark Edward McKenzie were slain in her home, and her younger children, 8-year-old Shasta and 9-year-old Dylan, were kidnapped. Duncan was arrested in July after he and Shasta were seen in a restaurant. Dylan’s remains were found later in a Montana forest.

ILLINOIS

Man suspected in killings of four

BELLEVILLE — A man was arrested yesterday in connection with the fatal shootings of an infant and three adults in suburban St. Louis, police said.

Police found the bodies after neighbors called police Wednesday evening to report a burglary in progress.

Witnesses said someone had entered the basement apartment through a broken window, said Cmdr. Norman Venable of the St. Louis Major Case Squad. Police found 12-gauge shotgun casings inside the apartment and outside the building.

The victims were Jason Smith, 2 months; Nicole Willyard, 19; Mary Cawvey, 19; and Brandon Lobell, 23, Cmdr. Venable said.

The women and the baby lived in the apartment, but it was not clear who was the infant’s mother, Cmdr. Venable said. The man who was arrested had a past “boyfriend-girlfriend relationship” with one of the women who was killed and is considered a suspect in the deaths, he said.

MASSACHUSETTS

Logan airport marks second near-collision

BOSTON — A jet was forced to abort its takeoff when another plane crossed onto its runway, the second such incident in a little more than a week at Logan International Airport.

The American Airlines jet was moving into position for takeoff when an American Eagle regional jet that had just landed crossed the runway, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters. He did not know how many people were on the planes.

The jet’s clearance for takeoff was canceled, and the FAA is investigating whether the pilot of the American Eagle plane or air-traffic controllers were at fault.

Mr. Peters could not say how close the planes had come to colliding Tuesday, but the Boston Globe quoted an aviation source familiar with the investigation saying they came within 1,000 feet of each other.

It was the 16th runway safety lapse at Logan since October 2004. Officials say they have found no link between the incidents, although they have cited Logan’s cramped runways as a reason problems occur there with such frequency. The airport is the nation’s 17th busiest.

NORTH DAKOTA

Record snowstorm strands travelers

BISMARCK — The earliest major snowstorm on record in North Dakota left scores of travelers stranded in shelters and blocked highways in parts of the Midwestern state yesterday, officials said.

“Even by North Dakota standards, this was a large storm,” said Rob Keller, public information officer for the state National Guard in the capital, Bismarck, where temperatures were below freezing yesterday after hitting 90 degrees last weekend.

No injuries or deaths were reported, and two persons who had been reported missing were found, Mr. Keller said.

The storm, which struck Wednesday dumped more than 20 inches of snow in some areas.

PENNSYLVANIA

Two men sentenced in City Hall scandal

PHILADELPHIA — Two bank executives were sentenced to more than two years in prison yesterday for their part in a City Hall corruption scandal that broke wide open after an FBI bug was discovered in the mayor’s office.

Glenn Holck and Stephen Umbrell of Commerce Bank were convicted of approving loans to Philadelphia Treasurer Corey Kemp and others in order to get the inside track on city banking business.

U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson sentenced Holck to two years and four months behind bars and fined him $200,000. Umbrell was sentenced to two years and three months and fined $50,000.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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