- The Washington Times - Monday, August 6, 2007

CALIFORNIA

Moses punished for parting waters

SAN FRANCISCO — A man called Moses who tried to part the waters of an Idaho creek for a real estate development project violated the Clean Water Act and should go to prison, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

Real estate broker and developer Charles Moses sought to reshape the flow of Idaho’s Teton Creek near a housing development starting in the 1980s. He argued that he was not increasing pollutants into U.S. waters and did not heed U.S. agencies ordering him to stop.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals did not agree with Moses’ arguments and upheld a district court sentence of one and ½ years in prison for each of the three counts of his conviction.

According to the book of Exodus in the Bible, Moses led the Hebrew people out of Egypt, and when they reached the Red Sea, he raised his hand and the waters miraculously parted.

INDIANA

Without funding, zoo may lose species

SOUTH BEND — The Potawatomi Zoo could be forced to give up its red pandas, snow leopards and other endangered species unless it finds money for improvements.

The zoo needs $1.3 million to pass standards set by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Without accreditation, Potawatomi would be reduced to a petting zoo.

LOUISIANA

Sharpton visits racially tense town

JENA — The Rev. Al Sharpton criticized officials in this racially tense Louisiana town yesterday, saying the attempted murder charges leveled against six black teens show “one rule for white kids and one for black kids.”

Mr. Sharpton and an entourage of three dozen religious and civil rights leaders met and prayed privately with one of the teens, 17-year-old Mychal Bell, for about 15 minutes at the LaSalle Parish courthouse.

Bell faces up to 22 years in prison after being convicted of aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated second-degree battery. He had initially faced attempted murder charges. Four 18-year-olds and a juvenile — who round out the group dubbed the Jena Six — are awaiting trial on attempted murder and conspiracy charges.

Bell and five other teens were charged in the December beating of a white schoolmate, 18-year-old Justin Barker. Mr. Barker was treated for a swollen and cut face and released the same day but said he took pain medication for a week.

Black community leaders across the country were outraged, protesting that the attempted murder charges were too harsh.

MASSACHUSETTS

Homeless man charged in girl’s death

WEYMOUTH — The body of a 7-year-old girl who had been taken from a relative’s home in the middle of the night was found early yesterday in the car of a homeless man, who was charged with murder.

Police said Ryan Bois took the girl after she was dropped off at the home for a sleepover.

Officers said they tried to stop Mr. Bois for driving erratically, but he tried to flee and crashed the car into a taxi. He tried to escape on foot but was caught by a police dog, authorities said.

Mr. Bois, 20, was arrested on motor vehicle charges and accused of threatening a police officer with a knife. A murder charge was added after the girl’s body was found in the back seat of his car, authorities said.

Mr. Bois, who is homeless, may have some familial relationship with the girl’s family, said David Traub, a spokesman for Norfolk County District Attorney William Keating.

NEVADA

Gunman opens fire after fight in casino

LAS VEGAS — Gunfire erupted at the Caesars Palace hotel-casino early Saturday when a man who had been knocked down in a fistfight retrieved a weapon and shot two persons, police reported.

Police are looking for Richard Earl Shepherd Jr., 34, of Las Vegas, said Officer Ramon Denby of the Las Vegas Metro Police Department.

The wounded men, whose names were not immediately released, were treated at a hospital and released, Officer Denby said.

The dispute may have occurred as a result of remarks made by a group of men to a woman with whom Mr. Shepherd was walking, Officer Denby said. Police were also investigating whether it was gang-related.

NEW YORK

Medal mowed into park field

HAMPTONBURGH — An artist has mowed an 850,000-square-foot rendering of a Purple Heart medal into a park field to honor the 75th anniversary of the medal that commends servicemembers killed or wounded in action.

The rendering in Thomas Bull Memorial Park in this city 55 miles northwest of New York City was done by field artist and painter Roger Baker, whose past works include the Statue of Liberty and Elvis Presley.

Mr. Baker said the project followed a chance meeting with Bill Bacon, membership director of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

The New Windsor Cantonment, in what is now Orange County, was the final encampment of the Revolutionary Army. To honor the service of select troops, Gen. George Washington presented a small purple cloth Badge of Merit — the precursor to the Purple Heart medal.

SOUTH CAROLINA

2 men detained over suspicious item

GOOSE CREEK — Two men were detained after police found a suspicious item in their car during a routine traffic stop near Charleston and detonated it, authorities said yesterday.

The men, who had been stopped for speeding, were being held pending a charge of unlawful possession of an explosive device, said Berkeley County Sheriff’s Lt. Vince Lombard. No charges had been filed as of yesterday afternoon, Berkeley County Chief Deputy Butch Henerey told the Post and Courier of Charleston for an article posted on its Web site yesterday.

Lt. Lombard would not say what the device was or what bomb technicians from neighboring Charleston County exploded at about 2:45 a.m. yesterday.

Authorities closed a milelong stretch of U.S. Highway 176 at about 7 p.m. Saturday, and federal officials said there was “no immediate threat.” It reopened at about 4 a.m. yesterday.

TENNESSEE

5 arrested at Hiroshima protest

OAK RIDGE — Five protesters were arrested Saturday at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant during a demonstration marking the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.

The five were arrested on charges of obstructing a roadway at the entrance of the plant in Oak Ridge, where much of the work was done for the World War II-era Manhattan Project.

About 200 protesters were at the plant, and the Oak Ridge Peace Alliance has several other events planned throughout the week for today’s 62nd anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and the Aug. 9 anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan. The group has organized annual protests at the Y-12 plant for nearly 20 years.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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