- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 27, 2006

ARKANSAS

Boyfriend arrested in slayings of three

LITTLE ROCK — Two young children visiting their mother for Christmas were found dead near her body in a Fort Smith apartment, where authorities arrested the woman’s boyfriend early yesterday, police said.

The three bodies bore no obvious wounds and appeared to have been there for as long as six days, police said. The causes of death had not been determined.

Officers went to the apartment after receiving a call shortly after midnight from the boyfriend’s father in Colorado saying his son, James Aaron Miller, had sent him a text message that sounded suicidal, Fort Smith police Sgt. Jarrard Copeland said.

When officers arrived at the apartment the woman and Mr. Miller shared, Mr. Miller, 30, answered the door, Sgt. Copeland said. Inside, police found the bodies of Bridgette Barr, 28, her 5-year-old daughter, Sydney, and 2-year-old son, Garrett.

CALIFORNIA

Family trapped by house fire freed

LOS ANGELES — Firefighters yesterday broke down the doors of a burning house where a family of 13 was trapped by the flames and deadbolt locks. A deaf couple and two girls were critically injured, but the rest of the family was rescued unharmed, officials said.

The fire started about 4:40 a.m., possibly by a space heater, city fire spokesman Brian Humphrey said. The two-bedroom house was being remodeled, and the smoke alarms had been removed, he said.

While some family members escaped from the one-story home through windows, firefighters had to break open the locked doors to rescue those still inside, he said.

FLORIDA

Tony Blair, family have rough landing

MIAMI — A commercial jet carrying British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his family slightly overshot a runway at Miami International Airport yesterday, but the plane was not damaged and no injuries were reported, officials said.

British Airways Flight 209 from London ran over a few airfield lights after landing at about 6:15 p.m., but did not leave the pavement and returned to the gate under its own power, airport spokesman Marc Henderson said.

The Boeing 747 stopped just past the official end of the runway, said Laura Brown, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman.

“It landed safely on the runway. It slowed down. It was going at taxiway speed, and they just missed a turn,” she said.

Mr. Blair was among the 343 passengers on the plane, said Kim Bruce, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Secret Service, which grants Mr. Blair protection whenever he lands in the U.S.

A Downing Street official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the prime minister and his family were not hurt. The official did not say where Mr. Blair and his family were going.

GEORGIA

Brown burial set; fans pay tribute

AUGUSTA — The James Brown statue on Broad Street in the late singer’s hometown of Augusta was draped in an American flag and a red scarf as several dozen people gathered yesterday to pay their respects.

Flowers were left at the base of the statue in tribute to Mr. Brown, who died Monday in Atlanta. He was 73.

It was announced yesterday that Mr. Brown would be buried Saturday in Augusta.

One visitor to the statue, John Arthur Thomas of Daleville, Ala., said he stopped by because Mr. Brown was a legend who had “done a lot of things from the heart to help people.”

Mr. Brown’s body will be returned tomorrow to the site of his debut — the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem — to allow the public to pay tribute to the “Godfather of Soul,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said yesterday. The body will rest on the Apollo stage from 1 to 8 p.m.

“It would almost be unthinkable for a man who lived such a sensational life to go away quietly,” said Mr. Sharpton, a close friend of Mr. Brown’s for decades. Thousands of celebrities, dignitaries, friends and fans are expected to line up at the Apollo to bid farewell.

Mr. Sharpton said the public viewing at the Apollo would be followed by a private ceremony Friday in Augusta. Another public ceremony, officiated by Mr. Sharpton, will be held a day later at the city’s 8,000-capacity James Brown Arena.

KANSAS

Judge reconsidering abortion charges

TOPEKA — A judge agreed yesterday to let Kansas’ attorney general, a vocal abortion opponent, try to persuade him to reinstate charges against a well-known abortion provider.

District Judge Paul W. Clark scheduled a hearing for today after Attorney General Phill Kline asked him to reconsider his decision to dismiss the case against Dr. George Tiller over a jurisdictional issue. Judge Clark said Attorney General-elect Paul Morrison could participate.

Mr. Kline, who lost his re-election bid in November and leaves office in three weeks, filed 30 misdemeanor counts last week accusing Dr. Tiller of illegally performing 15 late-term abortions.

PENNSYLVANIA

American Indians name white buffalo

FARMINGTON — American Indians from several tribes gathered for the naming ceremony of a rare white buffalo born at Woodland Zoo in Fayette County.

Kim “Many Weasels” Ord of the Lenape Nation said the animal was named Kenahkihinen, a Lenape word meaning “watch over us.” White buffalos are considered sacred by many American Indian tribes.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Wildlife officials propose gator hunt

CHARLESTON — South Carolina could soon join other Southern states that allow alligator hunting.

South Carolina wildlife officials plan to introduce legislation next year that would allow a limited alligator hunting season. Derrell Shipes of the state Department of Natural Resources said officials are studying seasons in other states including Georgia, Florida and Louisiana.

TEXAS

Civil rights groups sue over rental law

DALLAS — Two civil rights groups filed a lawsuit yesterday challenging a new law in a Dallas suburb that outlaws renting apartments to illegal aliens, claiming the ordinance violates federal law and forces landlords to act as immigration officers.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund filed the suit on behalf of residents and landlords in Farmers Branch, just north of Dallas. It is the third lawsuit brought against the city since the ordinance passed in November.

The lawsuit claims the measure, scheduled to take effect Jan. 12, is so poorly drafted that it excludes even legal immigrants from renting.

Farmers Branch spokesman Tom Bryson said the city will not comment on pending litigation.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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