- The Washington Times - Monday, April 24, 2006

ALABAMA

Eighth-graders play porn film in class

BAY MINETTE — Three students were expelled from Bay Minette Middle School for showing a pornographic movie in their classroom.

The eighth-graders slipped the DVD into a player while the teacher was busy grading papers and working on a computer, school officials said. The three used a remote to start the X-rated film on a screen where an educational video had been playing. Another student informed the teacher.

GEORGIA

Third stop screenings after breast cancer

ATLANTA — More than a third of breast cancer survivors gradually stop getting annual mammographies, a study says.

The results may indicate women grow complacent about medical screening once they get past the medical scare, said the study’s lead author, Dr. Chyke Doubeni of the University of Massachusetts.

Others said it is more likely survivors avoid screenings because they dread a recurrence of the cancer and additional treatment.

“They’re fearful something’s going to be found,” said Dr. Kathryn Edmiston, a Worcester, Mass., oncologist who specializes in breast cancer patients.

The study found just 63 percent of women were getting annual mammographies five years after breast cancer surgery. The findings are reported in Cancer, a medical journal published by the Atlanta-based American Cancer Society.

NEW YORK

Senator asks military to seek 9/11 remains

NEW YORK — A U.S. senator yesterday asked Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld to send an elite military unit to search for human remains at ground zero after hundreds of new bone fragments were found at an adjacent building in recent months.

The White House has said previously that it would let local authorities handle the recovery of remains, but Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said that the “miraculous” discovery of 150 fragments warrants more extensive recovery efforts involving the federal government.

In a letter to Mr. Rumsfeld, the senator echoed calls by September 11 family groups for the U.S. military to deploy its JPAC, or Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command unit, to augment the work of local agencies at ground zero. JPAC’s Hawaii-based forensic laboratory has identified more than 1,200 servicemen dating to World War I.

NORTH CAROLINA

More fish reported with high mercury

RALEIGH — Health officials say 22 species of fish in North Carolina contain dangerous levels of mercury, up from seven previously.

The officials suggest that pregnant women, nursing mothers and children younger than 15 not eat the affected species. The advisory includes Spanish mackerel, marlin, shark, tuna and largemouth (black) bass. Too much mercury can damage the kidneys and the brain.

NORTH DAKOTA

Tribe puts drug tests on reservation workers

BELCOURT — Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa officials are trying to address what they say is an epidemic drug problem on the northern North Dakota reservation.

The tribe has started random drug testing of employees, and has taken legal steps to banish drug traffickers from the reservation. Tribal Chairman Ken Davis said the drug problem requires such drastic measures.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Sailors receive soldiers’ training

FORT JACKSON — Navy sailors are trading their sea legs for dry land combat skills to help them survive in war zones, and the training is coming from an unusual place: the Army.

The Navy is sending thousands of men and women to Iraq and Afghanistan to relieve pressure on Army and Marine ground forces, some of whom have faced repeated deployments to the region.

“Hit the ground and brace yourself with your weapon,” Army senior drill instructor Warren Brown yelled at a dozen Navy trainees slithering across a mud-soaked field. “Look around, pick yourself up and go. You’re under fire.”

After struggling up from the mud with her M-16 in hand, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jade Permenter, who is headed to Iraq, said the drill instructions to stay down might save her life someday.

So far, about 1,200 sailors have gone through the intense, two-week course crammed with basics such as learning to fire M-16 rifles, toss hand grenades and conduct house-to-house patrols while weighted down with body armor — skills not required aboard ships.

TEXAS

FEMA asks 625 to return money

BEAUMONT — The federal government is asking 625 persons in Texas to pay back a total of $1.26 million in recovery aid they shouldn’t have received after Hurricane Rita.

Texas families received more than $592 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after the September storm. Most of the money FEMA wants — $1.14 million — was incorrectly paid for damage to homes that were not the owners’ primary residences, agency spokeswoman Hannah Vick said. Damages to secondary residences are ineligible for FEMA money. In other cases, the same person received multiple $2,000 FEMA payments, or multiple people from the same household received the $2,000.

People who receive a letter requesting repayment have 30 days to submit the amount in full or set up a payment plan. After 30 days, 2 percent interest begins accruing. Residents can appeal FEMA’s decision.

WASHINGTON

Hunter injured in bear attack

FORKS — A black bear attacked and seriously injured a hunter on a road just outside Olympic National Park late Saturday, authorities said.

A second hunter fatally shot the bear before summoning help, said Larry Evans, a shift supervisor for the Washington State Patrol’s office in Bremerton.

The injured hunter, whose name wasn’t released, was rushed to Forks Hospital with a compound fracture to the arm, a broken hand and several bite marks, Mr. Evans said. The victim lost a significant amount of blood, but was expected to survive, Mr. Evans said.

The bear apparently had dragged the man away from the site of the attack, Mr. Evans said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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